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Storms lash the Maritimes


Strong winds collapsed an outdoor theatre in Grand Falls
Strong winds collapsed an outdoor theatre in Grand Falls

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

August 3, 2011 — The long weekend ended with a bang in the Maritimes.

Localized flooding stranded a motorist in Halifax Tuesday evening
Localized flooding stranded a motorist in Halifax Tuesday evening

Thunderstorms rolled through New Brunswick Monday night. One severe cell caused widespread damage in the Grand Falls area.

Jean-Real Michaud, chief of police in Grand Falls, said the storm, which blew through around 7 p.m., knocked over trees all over town and destroyed an outdoor theatre.

“The wind was so hard ... it all collapsed,” he said. “It's finished.”

Fortunately, the theatre was not in use at the time. Michaud said it likely won't be rebuilt anytime soon.

A few other buildings around town sustained minor damages, but no injuries were reported.

Lightning may have been responsible for starting a barn fire that killed several animals in Drummond, near Grand Falls.

Another potential lightning-sparked fire was reported in Clair, near Edmundston.

The storms also dropped heavy rain in some areas.

43 millimetres of rain fell in Anfield, southeast of Grand Falls. An observer northeast of Plaster Rock reported nearly 70 millimetres of rain.

Rainfall totals.
Rainfall totals.

The active weather continued on Tuesday with another round of thunderstorms for the region. This time, Nova Scotia bore the brunt of the bad weather.

Eyewitnesses in Halifax reported a thunderstorm that seemed to continue for hours, dumping heavy rain on the city while lightning flashed constantly above.

In fact, a low pressure system moving over the region is drawing moisture from the Atlantic Ocean, sending lines of thunderstorms and bands of heavy rain up through Nova Scotia and into Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.

Halifax received 65 millimetres of rain on Tuesday alone, causing localized flooding throughout the city.

The storms also caused a backlog of flights at Stanfield International Airport as lightning strikes damaged runway equipment and authorities were forced to pull ground crews off the tarmac for their own safety.

Two Halifax-area beaches were closed pending water quality tests Wednesday after heavy rain caused some screened wastewater to flow into the harbour.

Parts of New Brunswick were also hit with heavy downpours.

Although more rain fell on Wednesday, the low continues to weaken. An additional 10 mm was recorded in Halifax bumping the total to 70 mm over the course of two days.

With files from the Canadian Press

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