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Powerful winds tear through Atlantic Canada


A viewer captured this photo of the squall line moving into Bathurst Saturday
A viewer captured this photo of the squall line moving into Bathurst Saturday

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

July 25, 2011 — A line of severe storms raced across Atlantic Canada Saturday leaving significant damage behind.

Strong wind gusts were recorded in New Brunswick
Strong wind gusts were recorded in New Brunswick

A powerful squall line raced across New Brunsick Saturday, downing trees and knocking out power to some 18,000 customers.

The squall line swept through along the leading edge of a cold front, intensifying as it dropped south.

A peak wind gust of 108 km/h was recorded in St. Leonard, while a gust of 82 kilometres per hour was recorded in Moncton.

The strong winds knocked down trees and hydro poles. At one point more than 18,000 customers in the province were without power.

Jessica Gallagher, a spokeswoman for NB Power, said crews sprang into action right away.

“We had crews dispatched and ready to go at the peak of the outages,” she said. “Crews worked through the night as safely and efficiently as possible.”

The vicious storm has residents in Tignish, Prince Edward Island cleaning up as well. Strong winds tore a swath of asphalt shingles from the roof of a body shop in the area.

The powerful gusts also downed trees near the government building.

Extensive damage from Saturday's storm
Extensive damage from Saturday's storm

The front helped to dispell the humidity that had settled over the Maritimes on Friday and Saturday.

Humidex values hit 35 in some places, prompting Environment Canada to issue a humidex advisory -- unusual for the Maritimes in July, said Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

“They'd normally see that kind of humidity in August,” he said.

Now, temperatures have dropped back down to the mid-20s, with no humidex.

“It's quite the change,” Dillon said.

Saturday was an active day across much of eastern Canada. Thunderstorms also hit southern Ontario. Even parts of Newfoundland experienced some thunder and downpours.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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