HALIFAX -- A prolonged holiday warm spell ended with a vengeance over the weekend across Atlantic Canada, leaving double-digit snowfall totals in three provinces and thousands of Nova Scotia residents in the dark on Sunday.

The website for Nova Scotia Power's listed 13,967 customers affected by 248 outages as of 1 p.m., mostly on Cape Breton Island and along the northeast coast.

The numbers marked a significant improvement from earlier in the morning when the energy company estimated nearly 17,000 clients were without electricity.

Nova Scotia Power spokeswoman Andrea Anderson said the outages were caused by the region's first snowstorm of 2021, which blew across most of the province on Saturday and ended overnight.

"The heavy, wet snow and high winds, they can bring branches down or entire trees down," Anderson said in an interview Sunday. "Heavy, wet snow and high winds are not our friends."

Local crews worked through the wintry conditions on Saturday night to restore power, she said. At about 6 a.m. Sunday morning, crews from the rest of Nova Scotia set out to help them.

As of Sunday afternoon, Anderson said about 80 technicians were working to get the lights turned back on.

Saturday's storm dumped 32 centimetres of snow on the airport in Sydney, according to Environment Canada, with nearby St. Anns receiving 29 centimetres.

On the northeastern coast of the province, along the Northumberland Strait, Environment Canada said towns like New Glasgow, Pictou and North Port woke up to about 20 centimetres.

Saturday also brought significant snowfall to New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Environment Canada reported accumulation of over 20 centimetres for much of the southern part of New Brunswick stretching from Fredericton to Moncton.

On Prince Edward Island, people in Charlottetown woke up to nearly 30 centimetres. Accumulations of over 20 centimetres were reported throughout the Island's central region.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 3, 2021.