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Nova Scotia’s wet, windy weather knocks out power for thousands

A man makes his way through near whiteout conditions in Halifax on Jan. 3, 2014.

DEVAAN INGRAHAM/REUTERS

Thousands of Nova Scotia Power customers were in the dark Sunday after high winds and heavy rain battered the region.

More than 20,000 customers were without power Sunday morning – mostly in the Halifax area – although that number had dropped to around 1,100 by early afternoon, the utility said.

Spokeswoman Neera Ritcey said crews were replacing a utility pole that caught fire in the Burnside Industrial Park in the suburb of Dartmouth.

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"Overnight we saw very very strong winds gusting to over 100 kilometres per hour in certain areas," said Ritchey. "In conditions like this, sometimes sparking can occur leading to a pole catching on fire."

A number of streets in Sydney, N.S., were closed Sunday and some homes were flooded with several feet of water.

Meanwhile, heavy rain closed a bridge and made for treacherous driving conditions in western Newfoundland.

Rainfall warnings were issued across the province, with some areas receiving more than 70 millimetres by Sunday.

The City of Corner Brook closed its Main Street Bridge due to high water and warned that roads were extremely slippery.

Crews worked through the night Saturday and into Sunday to prevent the flooding, the city said. Corner Brook says its hurricane response plan, which includes actively clearing culverts and bringing in extra trucks, was implemented for the second time in a week.

Newfoundland RCMP were advising people to stay off the Trans-Canada Highway in the Deer Lake area, as the highway was icy and in danger of flooding.

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In New Brunswick, freezing rain caused a number of crashes and closed a portion of the Trans-Canada Highway in the Salisbury area on Saturday.

Vehicles were at a standstill on the highway near Grand Falls Saturday evening and dozens of transport trucks could be seen pulled off on the side of the road. Hotels along the highway were filling up with people looking to escape the treacherous drive.

The City of Saint John said it closed several roads on Sunday due to the significant rainfall.

Several flights at Newfoundland and Nova Scotia airports were delayed or cancelled Sunday.

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