Thousands still without power after blustery evening

Thousands of people were still without power Saturday evening after high winds overnight Friday.

The Nova Scotia Power outage map showed roughly 16,400 affected customers at 5:34 p.m. Saturday.

CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon said winds were gusting to more than 100 km/h in parts of the province Friday night and into Saturday morning.

Snoddon said the strong winds were preceded by an extended period of freezing rain that lasted 21 hours in the Halifax area overnight Thursday and into Friday.

He said temperatures then rose from 2 C to 10 C before dropping back below freezing hours later.

Sports dome comes down

The high winds were enough to pull down the sports dome at the Cape Breton Health Recreation Complex in Sydney.

The dome is used by Cape Breton University, Soccer Cape Breton and a handful of other groups.

"It's too early to tell exactly what happened but we believe a rip was caused with the wind and that caused a ripple effect and the air escaped and the dome came down," said Ken MacLean, president of Soccer Cape Breton.

Ken MacLean

"I was out to look at it and there are a few rips along the side when it came down. We know they can be patched, it's just a matter of how many there are."

He said someone will do an assessment over the weekend, but they hope to see the dome back up in about a week. This is the third time this dome has collapsed.

"Sometimes you just can't control the weather," MacLean said.

Meanwhile, comfort centres have opened across the province on Saturday:

  • Louis Millet Centre in New Minas, N.S., from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Multicomplex in Canning, N.S., from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Fire hall in East Pubnico, N.S., from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Community centre in Quinan, N.S., from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Fire hall in Surette's Island, N.S., from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • 897 Highway 335 in West Pubnico, N.S., from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Fire department in Shelburne, N.S., from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Fire department in Southville, N.S., open until further notice
  • Fire hall in Lunenburg, N.S., open until further notice