Power outages, fallen trees as Maritimes rocked by strong fall storm
Published Thursday, October 17, 2019 11:25AM ADT Last Updated Friday, October 18, 2019 8:11AM ADT
HALIFAX -- Thousands of Maritimers lost power on Thursday as a slow-moving fall storm crawled through the region, bringing downpours, powerful gusts and toppled trees.
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 km/h.
Nova Scotia Power reported more than 33,000 customers without power as of just after 2 p.m. local time, although the number fell steadily as the storm abated through the afternoon and evening. By 8 p.m., it was down to roughly 1,400.
NB Power was still listing more than 7,100 outages at 11:15 p.m., while P.E.I.'s Maritime Electric was down to only a few customers without power.
Environment Canada meteorologist Ian Hubbard said the system didn't pack the punch of post-tropical storm Dorian, which walloped the region in early September, but it was more powerful than a "typical fall storm" in Atlantic Canada.
Rainfall warnings were issued for some parts of the region, with amounts expected to hit 50 to 70 millimetres.
Nova Scotia's Emergency Management Office said in a tweet that high water levels were expected during high tide, potentially causing floods and coastal erosion at beaches and damaging infrastructure.
Social media posts showed trees down around Halifax, and water streaming along streets in Saint John, N.B., as the storm peaked in the middle of the day.
Before hitting the Atlantic provinces, the system packed a powerful punch in New England.
Gusts in Cape Cod, Mass., where about 200,000 residents lost power, were reported to reach speeds of 140 kilometres per hour.
In Portland, Maine, the atmospheric pressure at sea level -- an indicator of the strength of a storm -- was the lowest ever recorded in October, said William Watson, a meteorologist with the U.S. National Weather Service.
The storm was expected to gradually shift east over Cape Breton in the late afternoon and evening, while parts of western Newfoundland were expecting some strong evening winds as well.
Some flights were delayed or cancelled at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
-- with files from The Associated Press
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2019.