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Lee leaves outages, downed trees as storm makes its exit from the Maritimes

Post-tropical storm Lee is on its way out of the Maritimes this morning, leaving behind widespread power outages, flooding and downed trees.

Thousands still without power Sunday morning across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I.

A boardwalk is washed out in Eastern Passage

The latest:

Post-tropical storm Lee is on its way out of the Maritimes this morning, leaving behind widespread power outages and downed trees.

The storm was located about 23 kilometres northwest of Summerside, P.E.I., as of 6 a.m. AT, moving in a northeasterly direction at 30 km/h into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, according to CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin.

Winds were still expected to gust up to 70 km/h on mainland Nova Scotia this morning, and up to 90 km/h in Cape Breton and eastern areas of mainland Nova Scotia. Winds are expected to diminish this afternoon.

The National Hurricane Center in the U.S. said the storm made landfall in Long Island, N.S., around 4 p.m. Saturday, with maximum sustained winds of 110 km/h.

More than 82,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were still in the dark at 11 a.m. Sunday. The utility said more than 800 workers were in the field working to restore power.

Halifax, Truro, New Glasgow, and the western part of the province, which includes the South Shore, the Annapolis Valley, and Digby, Yarmouth and Shelburne County, were hardest hit by the storm, the utility said in a release.

Matt Drover, Nova Scotia Power storm lead, said early Sunday that 170,000 customers had already had their restored power restored.

As winds begin to die down in many areas of the province, Drover said crews are out on the roads removing trees, getting up in buckets and restoring power, where possible.

Drones are being used in the Halifax region to get a look at damage, while in western parts of the province, helicopters are being used to survey the situation on the ground.

"Today is a really good day for restoration," Drover said. "The winds are dying down, the helicopters and the drones are getting us some really good intel. We will get a significant number of people back on today."

A tree is strewn across a roadway, and a white car is partially covered by the branches and leaves.

Despite not reaching the intensity of Fiona, a powerful hurricane that arrived in Nova Scotia last year as a post-tropical storm, Drover said high winds still made things difficult for power crews Saturday.

In Halifax, for instance, winds were higher than anticipated, said Drover.

He expects most people to have their power restored by the end of day Monday, but those living in some of the areas hardest hit may have to wait longer.

"As soon as we have an understanding of where those pockets of damage are, we'll update our outage map and update those restoration times," he said.

Erica Fleck, director of emergency management for the Halifax Regional Municipality, said storm surges, downed trees, and power outages were the biggest impacts of the storm in the city on Saturday.

With around 130 downed trees and numerous washouts across the municipality, Fleck said the focus Sunday will be on restoring roadways, many of which were already damaged by July's floods.

"We like to remind people that the crews are out there trying to get things fixed as quick as possible," said Fleck. "It would be very helpful if citizens could avoid travel if they don't need to."

The city said most Halifax Transit routes are up and running and will continue as scheduled, and that ferry service has been restored between Halifax and Dartmouth.

A map showing road conditions across the municipality, including closures, is available here.

According to Jason Mew, a director with Nova Scotia's Emergency Management Office, most people across the province took the storm seriously.

"Nova Scotians are certainly getting used to more than their fair share of [weather] events," he said. "I believe they take it a lot more seriously now and they're better prepared overall … so they're not caught off guard trying to do last minute shopping during a storm."

WATCH | Snapshots of Lee throughout New Brunswick:

Snapshots of Lee throughout New Brunswick

20 hours ago

Duration 0:59

Fallen trees, power outages and more, see the effects of post-tropical storm Lee in New Brunswick.

In New Brunswick, more than 11,000 were still without power Sunday morning, and more than 300 with P.E.I.'s Maritime Electric were waiting for their power to be restored.

Top wind gusts of 117 km/h were recorded at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, while southwestern Nova Scotia saw gusts of between 90 and 110 km/h and between 30 to 60 millimetres of rainfall in that same area.

Nova Scotia RCMP were asking people to stay off the roads on Saturday, as water, downed trees and utility lines were creating hazards along the province's Atlantic coastline.

In the Halifax Regional Municipality, Mayor Mike Savage said a number of roads were blocked due to sea water and debris, washed-out culverts, downed trees and power lines.

Many homeless people living in encampments throughout the city were moved to shelters established at St. Matthew's Church, Captain William Spry Community Centre and Beacon House in Lower Sackville, Savage said during a news conference on Saturday afternoon.

WATCH | Post-tropical storm Lee makes landfall in southwest Nova Scotia:

Post tropical-storm Lee making landfall in southwest Nova Scotia

22 hours ago

Duration 1:53

The storm is expected to hit Yarmouth County area early Saturday afternoon

Bell, a major cellular service provider, confirmed in an email there were some "wireless congestion" on Saturday in areas where there are widespread power outages. Eastlink, Rogers and Telus reported similar issues.

A motorist was injured when a pine tree fell on his vehicle while he was driving into Blockhouse, N.S.


All Halifax Public Library branches remain closed Sunday, along with Point Pleasant Park, the Halifax Public Gardens and Camp Hill Cemetery.

Northumberland Ferries said all sailings between Wood Islands, P.E.I, and Caribou, N.S., until 12 p.m. AT have been cancelled. It said to monitor its website for updates.

Bay Ferries has cancelled its Saturday and Sunday crossings between Bar Harbour, Maine, and Yarmouth.

A collapsed roof at a gas station near Fredericton, N.B. on Saturday.

Marine Atlantic has cancelled its Sunday afternoon crossings between North Sydney, N.S. and Port Aux Basque, N.L.

Many flights in and out of the region have been cancelled. Anyone with plans to travel should check the status of their flight with their airline.


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