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Early nor'easter slams Atlantic Canada

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

October 31, 2011 — An early but powerful nor'easter dumped a messy mix of snow and rain on parts of Atlantic Canada Sunday. Crews have been working to restore power across the region.

A wintery Halloween
A wintery Halloween

People in parts of the Maritimes woke up to a wintery scene Sunday morning. Snow began falling in Fredericton, New Brunswick before daybreak, switched briefly to rain, then changed back to snow, coating roofs and yards with heavy slush. In some parts of the city, the snow was thick enough for children to make their first snowman of the season.

The Weather Network's Shelley Steeves was reporting live on location and said the word “messy” best described the scene in the provincial capital Sunday morning.

“Slush is beginning to accumulate on the roads,” she said, “so drive carefully out there, especially if you don't have your winter tires yet.”

Halifax International Airport also saw a couple of centimetres of pre-dawn snow, but that was quickly washed away by steady rain. The city is poised to set a new all-time rainfall record for the month of October, having seen 339 mm of rain this month, compared to their average of 128 mm.

The intense rain and wind caused a restaurant and parts of the boardwalk along the Halifax waterfront to become flooded Sunday afternoon.

Winds began picking up later in the day and mainland Nova Scotia saw northerly winds gusting over 100 km/h.

Large waves were reported in Herring Cove, NS
Large waves were reported in Herring Cove, NS

By late Sunday night, Nova Scotia Power said electricity was cut to about 35,000 customers. Officials say outages across the province were primarily caused by strong winds, which brought down tree limbs.

In New Brunswick, over 3,000 outages were reported. Most are now back online.

The system continued to push into Newfoundland through the evening hours on Sunday and some places recorded over 10 cm of snow. The rain, wind and snow are expected to persist across the province on Monday as the low moves south of the Avalon Peninsula.

The same system dumped up to 80 cm of snow on parts of the east coast of the United States Saturday, knocking out power to millions.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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