Scattered power outages remain after strong winds, rain sweep through Nova Scotia

1 / 2
Scattered power outages remain after strong winds, rain sweep through Nova Scotia

Heavy rain and high winds swept across Nova Scotia on Saturday, knocking out power to thousands by the middle of the day.

Electricity was restored to many customers by late Saturday afternoon, with about 450 still affected by outages at 4:45 p.m.

At one point, power went out in south-end Halifax where the IWK Health Centre and the Victoria General Hospital are located. Generators are generally used to provide backup power to the facilities when the electricity is knocked out.

Environment Canada issued rainfall and wind warnings for all of mainland Nova Scotia, with the most rain expected in the southwest.

Wind gusts were forecasted at up to 90 km/hr Saturday morning, accompanied by 25-50 millimetres of rain.

Caitlin Walker, a spokesperson for the utility, said about 100 line technicians, contract crews and tree trimmers are stationed across the province.

But they can't restore power until winds are less than 80 km/hr, she said.

"Last week we were seeing winds that were comparable to Hurricane Arthur, so while the winds aren't forecast to be as strong this time, our crews always need to keep safety top of mind," said Walker. 

Wind warnings were issued for Cape Breton, but the island was not expected to get as much rain. 

With the heavy rain comes the possibility of localized flooding because the ground is still frozen and unable to absorb water. High winds could also damage buildings and tear down tree branches.

Flash freeze warnings

Some areas in the northwest are at risk of flash freezing tonight. This happens when temperatures drop so suddenly that water on highways and roads freezes quickly. 

- Antigonish County

- Colchester County 

- Cumberland County 

- Pictou County

The rain and wind were expected to subside Saturday evening, said Environment Canada.

Cancellations and delays

A number of flights coming in and out of Halifax Stanfield International Airport were delayed or cancelled Saturday. Travellers should refer to the airport's website for the most up to date information on incoming and outgoing flights.

Marine Atlantic made changes to its crossing schedules because of the weather. Its Port aux Basque to North Sydney trip that had been scheduled to leave at 11:45 a.m. is now scheduled to leave at 11:45 p.m. The North Sydney to Port aux Basque crossing scheduled for 11:45 a.m. is now scheduled to leave at 11:45 p.m.

Bay Ferries Limited also made changes to its crossing schedules because of the weather. It cancelled its 4 p.m. Digby Crossing for Saturday. On Sunday, there will be crossings departing from Digby at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. The crossing departing from Saint John will leave at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

The Tancook Island ferry suspended its crossings until 6 p.m. Saturday evening because of the weather.