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Maritime low tracking into Newfoundland


A stormy fall became a messy winter in Atlantic Canada
A stormy fall became a messy winter in Atlantic Canada

Jill Colton, staff writer

January 9, 2011 — It's been a messy weather weekend for parts of the Maritimes and now the same low that brought major snow to the region is targeting Newfoundland.

The morning after the storm in Beresford, NB.
The morning after the storm in Beresford, NB.

The Maritime provinces are no strangers to active weather, and another round of it has coated Nova Scotia on Sunday.

A low pressure system produced periods of snow for the province, with mixing along the Atlantic Coast and eastern sections.

Environment Canada says the churning low should turn into a major system and pass east of Newfoundland on Monday. Snow and strong winds are likely to develop along with pounding surf and higher than normal water levels.

But that's not all. “Forecast models are hinting towards another potential low early in the week, but we have to err on the side of caution because things can change quickly,” says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist here at The Weather Network.

Heavy rounds of snow have buried the Maritimes all weekend. Around 34 cm fell on Bathurst, New Brunswick, while Sydney, Nova Scotia, was coated with 17 cm and Charlottetown saw some 16 cm blanket the ground.

Driving conditions were poor with accidents occurring throughout the region. Three people remained in hospital Sunday following a collision between a pickup truck and a small bus near Lake Echo, N.S. The crash happened in blizzard-like conditions on Saturday, and 10 people were sent to the emergency room. The highway was closed for several hours as crews worked to remove the debris.

Snow totals likely to develop on Monday.
Snow totals likely to develop on Monday.

The region has been battered since the fall as storms have tracked into Atlantic Canada week after week. A nor'easter dumped heavy snow on New Brunswick a few days ago. The fresh blanket of snow and ice in Shediac, New Brunswick, however, has actually been a blessing in disguise.

“As the Shediac Bay freezes there is an actual ice barrier that builds up at the beach, which protects the beach. With the cold temperatures that we have had in the last few weeks, the ice is building up in the bay, so we hope that that will protect us until spring,” says Marcel Richard of Parlee Beach Provincial Park.

While the latest storm isn't as intense as some of the previous ones, it certainly isn't helpful to places that have been damaged by the recent onslaught of severe weather.

The premier of Nova Scotia, Darrell Dexter, says his province has suffered $13-million dollars in weather-related damages, and needs federal aid. Heavy rain and flooding this fall damaged roads and bridges in the Maritimes.

In Newfoundland, people have until this week to apply for provincial disaster assistance for hurricane Igor -- The Weather Network's top storm of 2010. Hurricane Igor was Newfoundland's most destructive storm in recent memory.

With files from Andrea Stockton and Lisa Varano.

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