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Heavy rain, wind and snow cause power outages and traffic problems across Atlantic Canada.

Heavy rain, wind and snow cause power outages and traffic problems across Atlantic Canada

Digital writers

Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 6:59 PM -

STORM WATCH: Tune into The Weather Network on TV for continued updates on this storm.

A powerful low pressure system has pushed into Atlantic Canada bringing precipitation, powerful winds and snow to the region.

Wind watches and warnings were issued for Nova Scotia Wednesday evening, but were later dropped.

On Tuesday, heavy rain spread across parts of the Maritimes with up to 50 mm reported in some places.

"The rain is just coming down sideways," said The Weather Network's Nathan Coleman who was in Halifax on Tuesday night.

Brisk winds also developed in the wake of the storm Tuesday night bringing a return to colder air.

"That resulted in a precipitation change over from rain to snow for some areas in the Maritimes," says Weather Network meteorologist Brian Dillon. "Moncton, New Brunswick picked up a quick 7 cm of snow by early Wednesday, while Halifax and Charlottetown saw the changeover to wet snow as well."

Several schools across the region shut their doors early Wednesday because of the poor conditions. Air travelers are also being urged to call ahead to check the status of their flight throughout the day.

A dramatic video of a tractor trailer being blown over on Nova Scotia's Canso Causeway has been making the rounds on social media. 

Transport officials say a toll highway notorious for sudden snow squalls was blocked early Wednesday when several tractor-trailers got stuck on a hill approaching either side of the toll booth plaza.

Motorists were advised to avoid the Cobequid Pass, which is along one of the highways that links northern Nova Scotia with New Brunswick.

RCMP warned in a news release issued at the time that "very poor weather conditions, rain, wind and fog conditions continue to exist and the public is urged to reduce speed and drive with caution on all Nova Scotia highways."

The powerful winds also resulted in sporadic power outages in New Brunswick, and about 8,000 residents and businesses in Nova Scotia were without power Wednesday morning as strong gusts pulled down power lines.

The wind forced Confederation Bridge to restrict high-sided vehicles from crossing late Tuesday.

Wind warnings remain in place for parts of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island with gusts up to 100 km/h expected through Wednesday.

"In addition, higher than normal water levels and large waves due to the strong northwest winds will give rough pounding surf to the north facing coastline of Prince Edward Island today and tonight," says Environment Canada in their statement early Wednesday. 

That prompted Marine Atlantic to cancel some of its sailings on Wednesday and the ferry service is warning that the weather could result in delays. 

Wind warnings cover parts of Newfoundland as well, with gusts up to 110 km/h expected. 

"This system will also bring messy weather conditions with snow and freezing rain changing to rain and ice pellets later this morning and eventually over to flurries tonight," EC adds.

Visit our Alerts page for watches and warnings.

With files from The Canadian Press

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