02/12/2012 04:49 EST | Updated 04/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Power Mainly Restored In Maritimes After Storm


Thousands of Maritimers lost their power Sunday after high winds, snow, and freezing rain caused widespread outages across the region overnight Saturday.

In Prince Edward Island, as of 8 p.m., 900 customers were still without power,

"The amount of trees and branches coming into contact with lines as well as the poor road conditions are making it more difficult for crews to locate and repair the problems."Kristopher Jackson, spokesman with Maritime Electric Company Ltd., said.

Power crews in New Brunswick had restored power to all affected areas as of 8 p.m.

In Nova Scotia, about 4,000 customers were without power at the height of the storm. Power has been restored.

Nova Scotia RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Brigdit Leger said highways are slushy and some are ice-covered, while others are barely passable.

Highway 104 from Truro to Amherst was closed Sunday morning because of weather conditions. The road was reopened around 10 a.m.

The provincial Department of Transportation advises motorists to take extra precautions due to icy conditions in Cumberland and Colchester counties.

Islanders snowed in

About 20 cm of snow fell in parts of southern New Brunswick, northern Nova Scotia, and P.E.I., said Jeremy March, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

The Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia saw 30 to 70 millimetres of rain, then the temperature dropped suddenly changing over to freezing rain and ice pellets, he said.

For some people in Prince Edward Island, it was a challenge to even get outside.

Kerry McDougall, of Springbrook, said the snow had blocked the doors to her home.

"I couldn't get out any of my doors. The south facing door had about 18 inches [of snow], and the other two doors on the west and east had about 12 inches," she said.

"So, it was quite a challenge to get my dog out this morning. It's the type of snow that you could probably build an igloo out of. It's really compacted so it's very heavy to push. It would be like trying to move your door through wet cement."

Marine Atlantic ferries affected

High winds are affecting ferry travel between Cape Breton and Newfoundland. But ferry service across the Cabot Strait resumed Sunday afternoon.

The MV Highlanders is now en route to Cape Breton. MV Blue Puttees may leave port later on.

Marine Atlantic spokeswoman Tara Laing said the ferry captains will decide whether it is safe to leave port. "As always, we continue to assess the weather and the current conditions. It's a combination of the wind and, of course, the sea state. You know we did have up to four to seven metres of waves," she said.

Laing said the wind in North Sydney overnight was in excess of 75-knots, or 139 km. per hour.

Marine Atlantic ferries had been in port in North Sydney and Port aux Basques since Saturday morning because of the weather. Passengers were given the option of staying ashore or boarding the ferry Saturday to wait out the storm.

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