Icy storm knocks out power to tens of thousands in Nova Scotia

More than 53,000 utility customers were still in the dark Saturday morning amid an icy storm that has brought prolonged periods of freezing rain, ice pellets, rain and snowfall to Nova Scotia.

Freezing rain warnings were still in effect for parts of southern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton.

Environment Canada said the extended period of freezing rain, which began Friday, was expected to end Saturday morning over mainland Nova Scotia and western Cape Breton. It will end over eastern Cape Breton this afternoon.

Nova Scotia Power crews were working through the night to restore power. As of 10:40 a.m. local time Saturday, there were still more than 52,000 customers without power.

The power outages began on Friday morning, as a mixture of snow, rain, freezing rain and ice pellets swept through parts of the province.

Nova Scotia Power said on Twitter that after 24 hours of freezing rain in some areas, the ice buildup on trees and power lines and icy road conditions continued to be a challenge on Saturday for crews restoring power.

“With a significant amount of ice build-up on trees, lines & other equipment, we ask customers to stay safe by treating all downed lines as electrified,” the utility said in a tweet.

CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon said there was more than 29 hours or freezing rain at drizzle recorded at the Halifax airport.

Snoddon said as the storm departs from west to east on Saturday, increasing northwesterly winds would usher in cooler temperatures, as well as lingering flurries.

He said winds are expected to gust to 40 km/h for most of the province and could gust up to 60 km/h near north-facing coastlines, which could lead to more power outages if ice-coated trees are downed onto power lines.

Some recreational centres and businesses delayed opening on Saturday, including 

Halifax Regional Municipality said the George Dixon Centre in the city’s north end will open as an emergency shelter for those without housing starting at 9 p.m. local time. St. Matthew’s United Church is open as a warming centre from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

For a full list of closures visit CBC Storm Centre.

Halifax Transit bus, Access-A-Bus and ferry service was scheduled to gradually resume service starting at 10 a.m. local time Saturday. All bus routes were running on a snow plan and the service warned there may be delays and cancellations.

Back To Top