Dangerous driving conditions along Cobequid Pass, Canso Causeway

Strong winds, heavy rain and snow have resulted in power outages and traffic tie-ups across the Maritimes.

The weather is making for dangerous road conditions in many areas, including the Cobequid Pass.

Motorists were advised to avoid the area Wednesday after several tractor-trailers became stuck early Wednesday.

Transportation crews said the trucks were trying to make it up the hill toward the toll booth but ran into heavy snow on the Cobequid Pass before 5 a.m.

They became stuck on the highway, causing traffic to back up along the road for several hours.

“Six-thirty this morning and we made about a quarter of a mile, we advanced about a quarter of a mile,” said Alfred Landry, a truck from Lakeville, N.B.

“I started last night with a load of lobster and the shop’s been phoning me ever since six o’clock this morning. No go here.”

“I’m supposed to unload tomorrow in Chicoutimi in northern Quebec,” said trucker Rick Rouillard. “I guess it’s not going to be tomorrow. You’ve got to take it as it goes.”

The highway was closed in both directions for several hours as crews worked to salt and plow the roads.

Larger vehicles were stuck along the highway but transportation officials were able to move passenger cars and light vehicles off the Cobequid Pass using paved crossovers.

Both the eastbound and westbound lanes have since reopened to traffic.

Transportation crews have been dealing with traffic troubles at the Cobequid Pass since Tuesday evening, when four eastbound tractor-trailers collided near marker 61 around 6:30 p.m.

The crash forced the closure of Highway 104 at Exit 7 and motorists were rerouted through Wentworth on Highway 4 for several hours Tuesday evening.

One person was sent to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Road and weather conditions were poor at the time.

Motorists are also being advised to avoid Nova Scotia’s Highway 104 near the Canso Causeway after a tractor-trailer overturned around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Wind gusts of more than 100 kilometres per hour caused the truck to tip over.

Police say the causeway is down to one lane while a crane is brought in to remove the tractor-trailer.

No injuries were reported.

Weather causes school cancellations, power outages

Several school buses were running late Wednesday morning and some classes were cancelled, along with ferry crossings.

The Tancook Ferry service is suspended until further notice due to high winds and rough seas. The Englishtown Ferry was also out of service Wednesday morning but is operating again.

The Confederation Bridge is closed to high-sided vehicles, motorcycles and cars pulling trailers due to high winds.

Travellers are being advised to check their flight status before heading to the airport. The weather is causing many delays as crews work to de-ice planes and plow runways.

The weather also resulted in thousands of power outages across the region.

More than 8,500 Nova Scotia Power customers in Cape Breton were without electricity as of 6:30 p.m.

Power has been restored to most NB Power customers, but thousands remain without electricity on Prince Edward Island.

P.E.I. motorists advised to stay off the roads

The province of Prince Edward Island was essentially shut down Wednesday, thanks to a blast of winter weather and wind gusts as high as 80 kilometres per hour

The wind caused whiteout conditions for motorists and as the snow started to build up, the near zero degree temperature created a dangerous mess on the roads.

P.E.I. RCMP issued an advisory, asking motorists to stay off the roads.

“Well, this is the third Wednesday in a row, so it's kind of a headache. Right now they're saying eight, nine, ten o’clock, but it's hard to say,” says trucker Randy Peters.

Ferries across the Northumberland Straight remained at the wharf, flights were grounded at the airport and students had the day off on the island.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Rick Grant and Jonathan MacInnis