Cobequid Pass reopens after blowing snow, slippery conditions shut it down

Whiteout and slippery conditions forced the closure of the Cobequid Pass for about 14 hours on Friday.

The major link between Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada was shut down at around 7:30 a.m. AT due to high winds and poor visibility, Nova Scotia's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal announced on Twitter.

The stretch remained closed until just before 9:30 p.m.

A series of collisions on Highway 102 between exits 9 (Milford) and 11 (Stewiacke) forced RCMP to shut down that road, which reopened about an hour later.

RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said there were at least three collisions and she warned of continued poor driving conditions.

"We're asking people to take some extra time, really consider whether they need to be out there today and definitely adjust their driving to the weather conditions," she said Friday morning.

High winds in the afternoon knocked down a power line in Dartmouth, causing the utility pole to catch fire.

Halifax Regional Police were on scene near Portland Street and Portland Hills Drive shortly before 2 p.m.

Roughly 5,000 people in the area were without power for several hours and outbound traffic on Portland Street was down to one lane.

"Our crews quickly went to site and they secured it from a safety standpoint," said Matt Drover, director of regional operations with Nova Scotia Power.

The winds also forced Halifax's MacKay Bridge to restrict crossings for heavy and high-sided vehicles for most of the morning, including transit buses. The bridge reopened to those vehicles shortly before 10 a.m.

Craig Paisley/CBC

Cape Breton Regional Police asked people this morning to avoid any unnecessary travel.

"Roads are covered in snow and drifts, and visibility is very limited," they tweeted.

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