Thousands without power after freezing rain coats roads, power lines in Nova Scotia

Thousands without power after freezing rain coats roads, power lines in Nova Scotia

With several washed-out roads and widespread power outages, Cape Breton has taken the brunt of a freezing rain storm that swept through the province Saturday night and into Sunday.

“It’s significant damage, for sure,” said Bonnie MacIsaac, deputy warden of the Municipality of the County of Inverness. “We have a lot of trees down.”

Several roads are washed out in the area from heavy rain and melting snow. MacIsaac said nine roads in the area were already in rough shape.

“Some of these were just barely made passable in the last week, and here we are set back by this,” she said.

She said she’ll be contacting the province to assess the damage and ask for emergency funding.

Catalone Gut Road is one of many roads in Cape Breton washed out by this weekend’s storm. (Nicole MacLennan/CBC)

The Inverness Volunteer Fire Department opened its fire hall as a comfort centre for people to get food, a warm drink, and a chance to charge their devices.

Most of Inverness County remains without power. Nova Scotia Power’s outage map says restoration is expected by 10 p.m..

In Cape Breton County, several roads in the Sydney have been closed since Saturday evening due to flooding from heavy rain.

Around 9:30 a.m. Sunday, the Louisburg-Main-à-Dieu Rd. was washed out and is closed. The Cape Breton Municipality is asking people to use alternate routes until further notice.

Rainfall warnings

Rainfall warnings remain in effect for parts of the province Sunday afternoon, including Halifax County East, Guysborough County, and most of Cape Breton.

Environment Canada expected between 30-80 millimetres of rain to fall Saturday and into Sunday, which has also caused flooding in low-lying areas.

Freezing rain warnings had been in effect in parts of the province throughout the morning. They ended around 2 p.m.

10,000 without power

More than 10,000 NSP customers are without electricity as of 3 p.m. Sunday, according to the utility’s outage map. That number had been as high as 13,900 earlier in the day.

Most of the outages are located along the coast of Cape Breton’s Inverness County, as well as in Antigonish and Guysborough counties.

Estimated restoration times vary, with some customers expected to be without power for most of Easter Sunday. 

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