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Wintery mix barrels through Atlantic Canada

Jill Colton and Alexandra Pope, staff writers

March 7, 2011 — It's a triple whammy of rain, snow and freezing rain for New Brunswick. Nova Scotia and P.E.I. are also getting doused with rain.

Heavy snowfall wallops northern New Brunswick
Heavy snowfall wallops northern New Brunswick

Winter and spring have collided to make things extra messy in the Maritimes.

A Texas low loaded with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico snaked its way up the Saint Lawrence River on Sunday, and it's been bringing a mess of weather conditions ever since.

“It's essentially a rebuild of the system that hit southern Ontario -- it's a transfer of energy,” explains Mark Robinson, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

New Brunswick is bearing the brunt of this nasty system. Everything from snow to rain to freezing rain has been pounding the province.

On Sunday, northwestern areas were first drenched with rain, but the precipiation has since switched over to snow. Winter storm warnings were issued for the Acadian peninsula, Campbellton, Edmundston and Miramichi. By Monday afternoon, upwards of 40 cm of snow had fallen in some places.

Meanwhile, the southern portions of the province have been dealing with heavy rain. Between 20 to 45 mm is expected to fall by the time all is said and done, and that's helping to melt the massive heaps of snow in places like Moncton.

“...New Brunswick has so much snow that for every millimetre of rain, there will probably be another centimetre of snow melt,” says Rob Davis, another meteorologist here at The Weather Network.

Flooding on city streets in Fredericton, NB
Flooding on city streets in Fredericton, NB

However, this may pose its own set of problems. The ground is frozen and there's nowhere for the water to drain, Davis explains.

Emergency officials in New Brunswick are on high alert as significant amounts of water are entering the drainage systems. Some localized flooding on city streets was reported Monday.

Mayhew Lloy is with Moncton Public Works. He suggests that drivers either slow down or avoid pools of water on the road.

“You're going to hydroplane. The other thing too, there could be potholes under it...It's going to be an issue for the next few days to try and get the holes filled on the streets...But crews will get them filled once we get rid of this water,” explains Lloy.

Lloy also advises homeowners to try to get the snow away from their house to avoid any sort of flooding. Clearing heavy snow from rooftops is another way to avoid water seeping in.

Significant rainfall accumulations have had city crews in both Nova Scotia and P.E.I working around the clock as well. Early Monday morning freezing rain led to P.E.I.'s Western School Board closing for the fifth day in a row.

The messy mix is expected to push into Newfoundland by Tuesday morning. Northern areas will likely get a good helping of snow, while the southern regions are looking at a decent shot of rain.

Stay up-to-date on conditions in your area by catching your local forecast on TV every 10 minutes on the 10s. You can also sign up to receive weather alerts and public notices on your mobile phone.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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