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Powerful storm slams Maritimes with high winds

A man clears snow from the middle of the street during a snow storm in Halifax on Jan. 13, 2016.

Darren Calabrese/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A nor'easter that slashed through the Maritimes leaving thousands without power moved into western Newfoundland on Wednesday with gusts that continued to exceed 100 kilometres per hour in some areas.

Meanwhile, power crews finished restoring electricity through parts of Nova Scotia, particularly in Halifax, after similar blasts of wind knocked trees onto power lines overnight Tuesday.

Nova Scotia Power said more than 50,000 customers had been restored to the grid with about 100 remaining by late afternoon on Wednesday.

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There were fewer outages in neighbouring New Brunswick, where about 500 customers were still without power late Wednesday.

Environment Canada meteorologist Barrie MacKinnon said wind gusts reached a high of 110 km/hr in the Halifax area with sustained winds in most areas of the province of between 60 and 70 km/hr.

The storm also brought a mix of snow and heavy rain to coastal areas of Nova Scotia and parts of Prince Edward Island and southern New Brunswick.

Heaviest snowfall was recorded in northern portions of New Brunswick, which received about 30 centimetres.

That led to the closure of many schools across the province as well as a no-travel advisory for the Trans-Canada Highway from Grand Falls, N.B., to the Quebec border.

As the system moved into Newfoundland, Environment Canada was calling for rain and freezing rain for central and eastern parts of the island.

RCMP in the Rocky Harbour area later reported whiteout conditions along Route 430 near St. Pauls, causing a brief shutdown of the highway.

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