Powerful Winter Storm Sweeps Maritime Provinces, Creating Treacherous Conditions

By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
January 29, 2022Updated: January 30, 2022

HALIFAX—A powerful winter storm swept across the Maritimes on Saturday, blanketing much of the region in heavy, blowing snow and causing road closures, power outages and widespread cancellations.

Drivers were urged to avoid travel amid blizzard-like conditions, and many roads and highways—including the border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick—were closed to traffic.

A flurry of closures were announced throughout the day in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, including universities, libraries, COVID-19 clinics and businesses. Flights, ferries and public transit were also delayed or cancelled due to weather.

The changeover from snow to freezing rain with high winds created the perfect storm for potential power failures, retired Environment Canada meteorologist Jim Abraham said.

He said freezing rain can stick to power lines and tree limbs, making them heavier and more susceptible to breaking as the winds pick up with gusts as high as 100 km/h in the forecast.

“We’re seeing a lot of mixed precipitation,” Abraham said.

Environment Canada said parts of the Maritimes were expected to receive up to 40 centimetres of snow, while more coastal areas were forecast to see several hours of freezing rain.

The region’s largest city warned the clean up from the storm could take longer than usual.

The Halifax Regional Municipality advised residents that “resourcing challenges as a result of the impacts of COVID-19” could affect service standards.

The city said its workforce was impacted by employee exposures, provincially mandated self-isolation and testing requirements.

It said the operation of Halifax Transit, solid waste collection, some recreation centres and other municipal works could be affected.

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