Parts of Atlantic Canada greeted by early snowstorm
Published Sunday, October 30, 2011 9:52PM EDT
Parts of Atlantic Canada got an early blast of winter Sunday courtesy of an unseasonable snowstorm that barreled up the United States' eastern seaboard and affected areas as far away as Toronto, which saw dozens of flights cancelled.
Snow blanketed the ground in areas of New Brunswick on Sunday while heavy rain pounded most of the Maritimes, making driving conditions treacherous.
RCMP said a driver in Prince Edward Island died on Sunday in a collision that has been partly blamed on road conditions. A lack of seatbelt and the speed of the car are also considered factors in the death.
The storm had knocked out power to 35,000 homes in Nova Scotia by 7 p.m. local time, as well as to nearly 1,000 homes in both New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
On Sunday evening, rainfall and wind warnings remained in effect throughout Nova Scotia and P.E.I., as well as for southeast New Brunswick.
The snow caused delays and cancellations at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport as airlines grounded flights headed into the storm.
A total of 41 departing flights were cancelled, while some 40 flights expected to land in Toronto were grounded.
The biggest delays were coming out of the Philadelphia and New York areas, where more than 1,000 flights were cancelled. An airport in New Jersey was closed completely.
Forecasters predict the low pressure system would churn along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia and head towards Nova Scotia later in the evening.
The frigid nor'easter is the offshoot of a storm that rolled up the U.S. eastern seaboard this weekend, snarling traffic and knocking out power to 2.3 million people.
While the squall has just entered Canada, city officials across Atlantic Canada issued several safety alerts.
Drivers in St. John, N.B. were asked to be extra vigilant on the roads as crews rush out to scatter road salt.
Strong gusts of wind forced the Confederation Bridge to close to cars towing trailers, motorcycles, recreation vehicles, trucks and buses. And ferry service was cancelled in Englishtown, N.S.
Meteorologist Jeffrey Hilliard said officials worry that the storm was expected to dump three harbingers of winter -- wind, snow and rain -- on roads, making them dangerous for motorists and citizens alike.
On Saturday, the snowstorm toppled trees and power lines as it churned from the mid-Atlantic to New England.
Inland communities got the bulk of the unseasonable weather with parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey painted white by snow by the end of the day.
"This is absolutely a lot more snow than I expected to see today. I can't believe it's not even Halloween and it's snowing already," Carole Shepherd of Washington Township, N.J. told The Associated Press on Sunday.
It's been record-breaking weather for New York City which received 15.5 inches of snow by Saturday evening, the most the Big Apple has ever received at this time of year.
Back in Canada, residents in affected parts of Atlantic Canada are asked to monitor local weather stations for updates. Homeowners living near the water have also been warned that the storm's winds could whip waves into a frenzy and cause flooding.