Nova Scotia EMO says more snow, high winds for afternoon will lead to power outages, poor driving conditions

Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post
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Stuck in the snow in the middle of John Street.
CARLA ALLEN PHOTO

TC MEDIA

Some good news came out of the early afternoon media briefing by the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office:  concerns over storm surge causing problems along the shores of the Northumberland Strait — the north shore from Pictou to Port Hood — have eased a bit as major spring blizzard continues to wallop the province.

See the TC Media Storm Watch blog for up-to-date information on weather across the province. 

Sean Irvine, director of provincial operations with the EMO, said this afternoon that earlier concerns are being eased somewhat as it is no longer is expected that the storm surge and the high tide will converge at the exact same time.

However, such concerns still present a problem for the South Shore from Halifax to Lunenburg County.

The storm covered the entire province by early afternoon, moving  into the Sydney area of Cape Breton shortly after noon and forcing the closure of the last remaining government offices that were open: the federal government's Citizenship and Immigration and the province's Sydney Justice Centre.

Barb Baillie, executive director of maintenance and operations with Nova Scotia’s Transportation Department, said visibility across the province is poor and that officials are continuing to watch the traffic situation on the Canso Causeway, the only highway link between Cape Breton and the mainland.

Elsewhere across the province, there are reports of power outages and at least one warming centre has opened at the Lockport Fire Hall for area residents affected by the outage.

Irvine said, while there are no major reports of damage so far, he does expect that to change as high winds are expected to continue into the overnight.

He said howling winds at more than 100 kilometres per hour over several hours will undoubtedly cause tree branches to break off and fall onto to power lines causing outages.

He said all of the province's municipalities have established disaster plans and are prepared to activate those plans should the need arise.

Baillie said her department's workers are keeping main roadways open but it is becoming increasingly difficult as the wind blows the snow back in as fast as plows move it out.

Nova Scotia and P.E.I. are still expected to be covered with up to 40 to 50 centimetres of snow.

Both Irvine and Baillie said it appears residents are adhering to the message of the day — stay home and off the roads.

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