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Soggy winter storm closes N.B. schools, warnings in effect across the Maritimes

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A soggy winter storm made its way to the Maritimes Thursday morning, with Environment Canada issuing a combination of rain, snow and wind warnings for the region.

Schools across New Brunswick are closed for the day. Many Nova Scotia school districts have bus restrictions in place, and schools on Prince Edward Island remain open.

A snowfall warning has lifted in northern areas of New Brunswick where amounts could reach 20 to 30 centimetres.

The snow turned to rain by early Thursday afternoon for most areas of the province.

A special weather statement warning of chance of minor coastal flooding along the New Brunswick coastline on the Bay of Chaleur in the afternoon near high tide has been lifted.

Rainfall warnings across southwestern New Brunswick and most of mainland Nova Scotia lifted by Thursday evening.

CTV Atlantic meteorologist Kalin Mitchell says the higher rainfall amounts may combine with snow melt to increase the risk of hydroplaning conditions and localized flooding.

A wind warning that blanketed most of Nova Scotia and all of Prince Edward Island has ended.

And a Les Suêtes wind warning is in effect in Inverness County - Mabou and north, where very strong southeasterly winds are expected to continue in the afternoon before diminishing in the evening.

A special weather statement has ended in Yarmouth and Shelburne counties. Environment Canada says higher than normal water levels and very large waves are expected along the coast.

TRAVEL

The Confederation Bridge restricted certain vehicles from crossing due to high winds, but has since reopened to all vehicles.

Marine Atlantic says its Thursday departures from North Sydney, N.S., to Port aux Basques, N.L., at 11:45 a.m. and 11:15 p.m. have been cancelled. The Port aux Basques to North Sydney crossings at 11:45 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. are also cancelled.

Tancook Ferry has suspended service for the day.

The Saint John Police Force says water is pooling on many streets and there is some localized flooding. Saint John Transit says buses are operating, but there may be delays due to road conditions.

Travel is not recommended on the Trans-Canada Highway Route 2 between the Quebec border and Upper Kingsclear, N.B.

POWER OUTAGES

Nova Scotia Power was reporting 301 outages due to high winds affecting around 6,222 customers as of 9 p.m Thursday. The largest outage is in the Sherbrooke area, affecting 1,431 customers.

Estimated restoration times vary by community.

In New Brunswick, around 80 NB Power customers were without electricity, with the largest outage in the Moncton region affecting 63 customers. 

Close to 40 Maritime Electric customers were without electricity as of 9 p.m., with most customers affected in central P.E.I.

With files from The Canadian Press and CTV’s Kalin Mitchell 

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