Few wind, rainfall warnings remain as Sandy loses strength
Only a handful of rainfall and storm-surge warnings in Canada remained in effect Tuesday evening as post-tropical storm Sandy continued to weaken as it moved inland.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre said Tuesday afternoon that Sandy continued to “weaken rapidly,” and had lost all of its tropical characteristics.
While wind and rain continued in southern Ontario, which was most severely impacted by the storm, Quebec and in Atlantic Canada, the worst appeared to be over.
However, the wet weather is expected to continue in the region through much of the week.
"It's going to continue to linger because of the slow-moving nature of the storm at this point," Environment Canada meteorologist Geoff Coulson told The Canadian Press.
"We're still going to be dealing with on and off shower activity through much of southern Ontario and southern Quebec during the course of the next few days.”
In Nova Scotia, Queens, Yarmouth and Shelburne counties remained under rainfall warnings Tuesday night. Environment Canada said between 40 and 50 millimetres could fall over the region by Wednesday morning.
The agency also forecast between 30 and 50 mm of rain for parts of southern New Brunswick, including St. Stephen, Grand Manan and Northern Charlotte counties.
As of Tuesday evening, Confederation Bridge remained closed to high-sided vehicles and several flights were cancelled out of Halifax airport.
Storm surge warnings were also in effect for parts of central and eastern Quebec on Wednesday. Rainfall was also expected to total between 20 and 40 mm in that region.
As Sandy moved over western Pennsylvania Tuesday night, residents in southern Ontario and Quebec still had wet and windy conditions to deal with, as crews worked to clear debris from streets and restore power to thousands of homes.
Damaging winds that accompanied the storm weakened throughout the day, with Environment Canada ending the final wind warning in the Sarnia-Lambton region of southwestern Ontario early Tuesday afternoon.
However, forecasters warn that parts of Ontario and western Quebec could see snow before the system is gone.
Northern Ontario could get a mix of snow, freezing rain and ice pellets, with wind gusts of up to 60 km/h.
According to Coulson, the storm will move north and then east before petering out over the St. Lawrence Valley.
One dead as effects of Sandy hit Canada
At the height of the storm, 150,000 Ontarians were without electricity as the storm downed power lines throughout the province. As of Tuesday evening, 14,500 Hydro One customers remained without power.
Approximately 50,000 people in Quebec were without power at the height of the storm, about 1,700 of them living in Montreal. Hydro-Quebec has said the number will fluctuate as they try to resolve the problem.
Those blustery winds have been blamed for one death in Toronto, after a falling sign blown by 65 km/h gusts struck and killed a woman walking in the city's west end.
Officials south of the border say 48 people in seven states died in the storm. Sandy was already blamed for 69 deaths in the Caribbean.
Several cruise ships diverted to ports on Canada’s East Coast on Tuesday, hoping to wait out the perilous conditions at sea. The storm also bungled plans for thousands of air travellers across the globe.
According to the flight-tracking service FlightAware, more than 13,500 flights had been cancelled for Monday and Tuesday. The bulk of those cancellations were related to post-tropical storm Sandy.
Traveller Ernest Dharmapala showed up at the Ottawa International Airport on Tuesday, only to find that his flight had been pushed back 10 hours.
“When I reached the airport, they told me that the next flight to Washington is set late in the evening,” he told CTV Ottawa. “I guess I’ll have to go back and spend more time in the hotel.”
Similarly, scores of delays marked by red lights lit up departure boards in Toronto and Montreal.
Via Rail Canada said Tuesday that its trains within Canada were operating according to the regular schedule, however, the Montreal-New York train was cancelled while the Toronto-New York train would only travel as far as Albany, New York.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews had said the military and the Canadian Coast Guard were on standby to provide assistance as needed.
The Red Cross also had hundreds of volunteers on standby, and Health Canada had taken stock of its National Emergency Stockpile.
Bob Robichaud, of the Canadian Hurricane Centre, said while Sandy struck late in hurricane season, there could be more Atlantic storms to come.
"Hurricane season ends Nov. 30 and there have been tropical cyclones and hurricanes pretty much every month of the year. So even though this is a late storm, the season is not over for another month so we have to be prepared for them."
Sandy crashed ashore in Atlantic City, N.J. on the U.S. east coast Monday evening, officially stripped of its hurricane status but still making landfall packing winds of 130 km/h.