FREDERICTON -- Thousands of Maritimers were still without power Friday morning after a powerful fall storm swept through the region Thursday, bringing downpours, strong gusts and downed trees.

By mid-morning, more than 4,400 customers remained off the grid in New Brunswick.

NB Power spokesman Marc Belliveau said the main issue was damage caused by trees making contact with power lines.

"There were still a lot of leaves on trees, and high winds and rain and branches making contact with our wires," he said.

Belliveau said the utility wants to have conversations with municipalities, the Department of Transportation and other partners about expanding right of ways near its wires. "That would be the best solution to future outages," he said.

He said the utility used to budget $2.5 million per year for storm restoration, but recently increased that amount to $16.5 million annually.

Belliveau said crews expected to have most, if not all, customers reconnected by the end of the day.

Nova Scotia suffered the largest number of outages at the storm's peak, but only about 1,000 customers were still without power by 10 a.m. Friday.

Forecasters said sustained winds of about 60 kilometres per hour hit parts of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, with some coastal gusts reaching 90 kilometres per hour.

The storm also toppled trees in historic King's Square in Saint John and along major streets in Halifax.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2019.