12/04/2013 05:53 EST | Updated 02/03/2014 05:59 EST

Avoid the Cobequid Pass this morning, warn RCMP

People in the Maritimes are settling in for a messy day as snow, wind and rain botch the region's roads.

Police in Nova Scotia are warning drivers to avoid the Cobequid Pass, a main highway artery, Wednesday morning as slick roads have vehicles at a standstill.

The stretch of road is closed until further notice.

RCMP said five or six tractor-trailers got stuck in the snow around 4:30 a.m. trying to get up a hill between Thomson Station and Oxford.

Derek Rowes said he was driving his tractor-trailer toward the toll pass, when suddenly he had nowhere to turn.

"There's nobody going eastbound. The last radio report I got from another driver is that he turned at the toll booth and came back, but he must have been sitting there for quite a while because now they're lined up,” Rowes told CBC’s Information Morning.

The Department of Transportation is advising that empty, high-sided vehicles take Trunk 4 because of the high winds.

The problem comes on the heels of another truck mishap on the same stretch of highway on Tuesday night, when four semi-trailers crashed near exit 7.One person was hurt.

It has been mostly cleared up.

Icy roads, school cancellations 

"Atlantic Canada is a real mess today as a powerful low-pressure centre continues to plow across eastern Nova Scotia," reported CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland.

"Wind warnings are out across much of Nova Scotia and P.E.I. for gusts easily topping 100 kilometres per hour."

Scotland is predicting a contrast in temperatures across the Maritimes. Temperatures are plummeting west of the storm, while it's very warm to the east. Sydney is at 10 C is Halifax is posting 0 C. Fredericton is avoiding the mayhem, with flurries and a high of 2 C.

As the day continues, a storm is expected to hit Cape Breton. Inverness County could see up to 15 cm of snow.

Rain is expected to change over to snow. Scotland said icy roads are likely after 30 to 60 mm of rain fell in Nova Scotia.

A wind and rainstorm, which had already turned to snow in western P.E.I. early Wednesday morning, has shut down schools in the province.

Provincial government offices were delaying openings to 10:30, UPEI has rescheduled its 9 a.m. exams and Holland College has cancelled classes for the day.

Power outages

Roads from Summerside and west were covered in snow by 7 a.m. Winds were blowing at 40 km/h gusting to 70, and were causing problems as well. Power was out to 2,500 customers in the New Haven area, but restored at about 8:15 a.m. AT.

High winds and rains are causing power outages across Nova Scotia. 

At 8:15  a.m., more than 8,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were in the dark. It has since dropped to around 5,000 customers.

The largest cluster of outages was in Dartmouth, where a transformer blew near Brule Street. Police blocked the road after a power pole caught fire, bringing Nova Scotia Power and fire crews to the scene.

A large number of outages are also being reported between Bedford and Lower Sackville, as well as Oxford and Amherst.

The ferry that connects Wood Islands, P.E.I., with Caribou, N.S., won't be running Wednesday morning.

Marine Atlantic is predicting ferry delays to and from Sydney.

The wind has also forced Confederation Bridge to restrict high-sided vehicles from crossing.