Power out as Noel strikes the Maritimes

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA - Hundreds of people in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were without power and dozens of flights in and out of Halifax were cancelled the evening of November 3 as post-tropical storm Noel rolled into the Maritimes, promising to batter the area with high winds and a deluge of rain.

Nova Scotia Power said the rough weather knocked out power for about 1,000 customers in and around New Germany, along the province's south shore. In New Brunswick, more than 1,500 customers were in the dark in the Fredericton and Rothesay areas.

Nova Scotia Power spokesperson Margaret Murphy said more outages were likely as the worst of the storm approached.

"Looking at the severe winds that were forecast, we could tell that there would be damage to different types of infrastructure across the province," she said. "That combination of power lines and trees, with those high winds, that's a recipe that would cause some damage."

Murphy said all of the company's crews were on standby, and private contractors were lined up to assist if necessary. NB Power said similar precautions were in place for New Brunswick.

Meanwhile, nearly all flights leaving and arriving at the Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport were cancelled, as were a handful the morning of November 4.

Airport spokesperson Peter Spurway said the number of cancellations was significant, even for a major fall storm.

"This would be quite a departure from business as usual," said Spurway. "It's short of a hurricane, but it is certainly above what we would expect when a weather system would move through. This one is above and beyond that."

During its early stages, Noel killed at least 73 people in the Dominican Republic and 40 in Haiti. One person was killed in Jamaica and one man died in the Bahamas.


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