The roof of a mobile home was ripped off by strong winds in a trailer park in Dartmouth, N.S. on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2007. (CP / Andrew Vaughan)
Thousands still without power in Noel's wake
Updated Sun. Nov. 4 2007 7:32 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
Efforts to restore power to residents of the Maritimes are well underway in the wake of post-tropical storm Noel.
More than 190,000 hydro customers in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were without power as the storm barreled through the Atlantic provinces.
The massive system brought hurricane-force winds of up to 135 kilometres to the Halifax area overnight.
Heavy rain totaling between 50 and 75 millimetres hit the region and led to a road washout in Eastern Passage, N.S. The wind downed massive trees and one mobile home in the Halifax-area had its roof ripped off overnight. Nova Scotia bore the brunt of the power outages, with Truro, the Annapolis Valley, the South Shore and metro Halifax reporting the most damage.
When dawn broke on Sunday, most of the neighbourhoods surrounding Halifax were still without power. Streets were littered with broken branches, shredded leaves and downed powerlines, but not to the same extent as when Hurricane Juan hit in September, 2003.
"We're a lot better off than we were then," Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly told CTV News on Sunday.
The mayor is however advising caution and patience in the wake of the storm.
"People (should) take the time and go check up on their neighbours to make sure they're OK," he urged. "It's important that we work as a team."
CTV's Denelle Balfour told Newsnet on Sunday morning that Nova Scotia Power had restored power to 50,000 homes as conditions subsided throughout the night.
"Nova Scotia Power's plan to restore power is well underway, but our workers need to do so in a way that's safe,'' Dan Muldoon of Nova Scotia Power told The Canadian Press.
The Fredericton area remains the hardest hit in New Brunswick, although crews dealth with hundreds of customers in the dark in St. Stephen, Grand Falls, Tracadie and Sackville.
The number of New Brunswick customers without power peaked at around 7,000 on Sunday morning and has fallen steadily since then.
In Saint John, no power outages were reported, but the city received in excess of 70 millimetres of rain. As a result, many rivers and streams in southern New Brunswick approached flood stage.
Memories of hurricane Juan -- a Category 2 storm that claimed at least seven lives in the Halifax-area in 2003 -- prompted Maritimers to prepare for the worst, Balfour said.
Bob Robichaud, a meteorologist with Environment Canada's Hurricane Centre, told CTV Newsnet that several areas throughout the Maritimes got battered by heavy rains, brutal winds and 14-metre-high waves that pounded shorelines.
"This was certainly an intense fall storm that we had overnight and the storm is still creating some strong winds over Prince Edward Island, southeastern New Brunswick and into the Cape Breton area," he said from Halifax on Sunday.
"We had several reports of winds of over 120 kilometres per hour in numerous locations in Nova Scotia. The strongest winds were at Wreckhouse, Newfoundland that not too long ago reached 180 kilometres per hour."
The storm took an unexpected turn on Saturday, moving west into the Bay of Fundy and New Brunswick late into the evening. At 5 a.m. ET the storm was centred about 45 kilometres southeast of Saint John and moving north.
"It's starting to accelerate now to the North and should move into the Anticosti Island, into the north shore of Quebec and into Labrador late today and into tomorrow," Robichaud said.
Noel has blazed a path of destruction through the Caribbean, having done the most damage in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
The hurricane claimed 115 lives in the Caribbean, triggering mudslides and floods.