Storm causes major traffic tie-ups in Maritimes 2:25

December 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

It continues to be a messy day for drivers in the Maritimes as snow, wind and rain botch the region’s roads.

The Canso Causeway, which connects Cape Breton Island with mainland Nova Scotia, is blocked because of a tipped tractor-trailer. Police are guiding traffic through one open lane, but they say as soon as a crane arrives to remove the truck, both lanes will be closed.

There are no reports of injuries, said Nova Scotia RCMP.

The Cobequid Pass, a section of the Trans-Canada Highway, was closed for the morning after slick roads had vehicles at a standstill. Both lanes of the highway were opened at approximately 2:30 p.m. AT.

RCMP said five or six tractor-trailers got stuck in the snow around 4:30 a.m. trying to get up a hill between Thomson Station and Oxford.

Derek Rowes said he was driving his tractor-trailer toward the toll pass when suddenly he had nowhere to turn.

“There’s nobody going eastbound. The last radio report I got from another driver is that he turned at the toll booth and came back, but he must have been sitting there for quite a while because now they’re lined up,” Rowes told CBC’s Information Morning.

“It’s part of driving in Atlantic Canada. Just sit back, wait and expect the unexpected,” he said.John Hanlon was driving to Saint John when he got stuck on the road.

Drivers have been sitting at a standstill for hours.

“Fortunately I’m retired, so if it takes me four days to get back home, I’m OK,” said Jurgen Brzozowski. 

The problem comes on the heels of another truck mishap on the same stretch of highway on Tuesday night, when four semi-trailers crashed near Exit 7. One person was hurt.

It has been mostly cleared up.

The RCMP are asking drivers to stay off the roads on P.E.I. unless travel is absolutely necessary, as a winter storm rolls over the Island.

Icy roads, school cancellations 

“Atlantic Canada is a real mess today as a powerful low-pressure centre continues to plow across eastern Nova Scotia,” reported CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland.

“Wind warnings are out across much of Nova Scotia and P.E.I. for gusts easily topping 100 kilometres per hour.”

Traffic backed up on the Cobequid Pass

Traffic on Highway 104 is at a standstill after a handful of trucks got stuck in the snow.
(Craig Paisley/CBC)

Scotland predicted a contrast in temperatures across the Maritimes. Temperatures are plummeting west of the storm, while it’s very warm to the east. The temperature in Sydney is 10 C, while Halifax is posting 0 C. Fredericton is avoiding the mayhem, with flurries and a high of 2 C.

As the day continues, a storm is expected to hit Cape Breton. Inverness County could see up to 15 cm of snow.

Rain is expected to change over to snow. Scotland said icy roads are likely after 30 to 60 mm of rain fell in Nova Scotia.

A wind and rainstorm, which had already turned to snow in western P.E.I. early Wednesday morning, shut down schools across the province.

Provincial government offices were delaying openings to 10:30 a.m., the University of Prince Edward Island rescheduled its 9 a.m. exams and Holland College cancelled classes for the day.

Power outages

Roads from Summerside and west were covered in snow by 7 a.m. Power was out to 2,500 customers in the New Haven area, but restored at about 8:15 a.m. AT.

Cobequid Pass camera

It was a sea of white on the Highway 104 Wednesday morning. (Nova Scotia Highway Camera)

High winds and rains are causing power outages across Nova Scotia. As of 3:15 p.m. AT, more than 15,500 Nova Scotia Power customers were without electricity, mostly in the northern part of the province and Cape Breton.

A large cluster of outages were in Dartmouth, where a transformer blew near Brule Street. Police blocked the road after a power pole caught fire, bringing Nova Scotia Power and fire crews to the scene.

The ferry that connects Wood Islands, P.E.I., with Caribou, N.S., was not running Wednesday morning.

Marine Atlantic cancelled its ferry crossings to and from North Sydney.

The wind has also forced Confederation Bridge to restrict high-sided vehicles from crossing. 

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