Schools closed, travel disrupted as storm sweeps across the Maritimes
HALIFAX -- Wednesday was a snow day for many Maritime students as a winter storm swept across the region.
All public schools were closed in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and many were closed in southeastern New Brunswick.
All university campuses in the Halifax area were closed, along with the St. Francis Xavier University campus in Antigonish, and Cape Breton University. Most NSCC campuses also closed for the day.
Many locally-owned businesses in the region were closed or delayed opening. The NSLC delayed opening stores in some areas, while some locations shut down.
Two of the region's largest shopping malls -- Halifax Shopping Centre and Mic Mac Mall -- remained open.
Canada Post suspended mail delivery for the day in the Halifax area and advised residents in other parts of the province that they may not receive their mail.
The weather also affected travel and road conditions. Many flights were cancelled at Maritime airports, with passengers being urged to check their flight status.
Cape Bretoners, who just finished digging out from nearly 40 centimeters of snow that fell on Sunday night and Monday, had to cope with more snow.
The Cape Breton Regional Municipality cancelled transit services for the day at 11 a.m. and also closed city hall and all municipal facilities.
Road conditions deteriorated throughout the day, with collisions reported in the Halifax area. In Cape Breton, several vehicles left Highway 125 Wednesday afternoon.
In Halifax, several transit buses were operating on snow plans, and the winter parking ban is in effect.
Municipal officials say it's challenging because there are too many vehicles parked on the road.
"Especially the narrower streets where we have a hard time getting fire trucks or plows, anything down those streets," said Brendan Elliott, a senior communications advisor with Halifax Regional Municipality. "So we're really asking people if they are home and they aren't parked in their driveway, please put your car in your driveway -- it's slowing us down, we're not getting as much done as we'd like at this point."
Later in the day, a transit bus smashed into a shed in the Fairview area of Halifax.
No one was injured.
"There's two Gold Wing motorcycles in that shed, and that shed's not big enough to put a Metro Transit bus in there," said homeowner Tom Bell.
Environment Canada issued winter storm warnings for Antigonish County, Inverness County, Pictou County and Victoria County Wednesday afternoon. Snowfall warnings were in place for Colchester County, Cumberland County, Guysborough County, the Halifax area, Hants County, Kings County, Lunenburg County, Richmond County, and Sydney Metro and Cape Breton County.