More than 30K Nova Scotians are without power as heavy rain hits region

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Alyse Hand gives us the weather forecast for the Maritimes – Feb 18, 2022

Thousands of Nova Scotians woke up to no power Friday morning as downpours began overnight.

Nova Scotia Power opened its Emergency Operations Centre on Thursday evening in advance of the rainstorm.

“The latest storm is expected to bring high winds overnight tonight and into Friday, along with rain and a risk of flash freezing,” read a Thursday release. “We will ensure we are well positioned across the province in order to be able to respond as needed for our customers.”

N.S. Power storm lead Matt Drover says there were more than 70,000 customers affected since the early morning, but more than 40,000 have already had power restored.

As of 2:30 p.m., more than 30,000 customers of the utility remain without power.

“We have 450 people working in the field… and hundreds of people working behind the scenes to manage that storm restoration,” Drover said in a Friday afternoon interview.

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He said it’s winds that are causing the majority of outages.

“We see winds above 100 kilometres an hour. What happens there is that it impacts the trees,” Drover said. “Trees either come down on top of the power lines or they they impact our infrastructure and caused power outages.”

This is the seventh major storm since the beginning of the year.

“Our crews have been working around the clock to restore all of these power outages quickly and safely as possible, and they’ll do the same with this storm as well,” Drover said.

Read more: Farmers in western Nova Scotia on ‘high alert’ after recent discovery of avian flu

Environment Canada had issued rainfall, wind and flash freeze weather alerts for the entire province, as temperatures are forecast to fall rapidly, from about 11 C to -2 C.

“Ponding water, slush, and any falling precipitation will freeze as the temperature drops,” the weather agency said.

“Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery. Take extra care when walking or driving in affected areas.”

Total rainfall across the province is expected to run between 25 to 50 millimetres, with higher amounts possible locally.

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Rain is expected to last until Friday afternoon. It will “taper to flurries or ice pellets this afternoon, and ending this evening,” Environment Canada said Friday. “There is also a risk of brief freezing rain during the changeover.”

The agency also warned of strong southwesterly winds hitting the province, with maximum wind gusts of 90 km/h, and up to 110 km/h in exposed areas.

“Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage. High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break,” the alert read.




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