Thousands Struggle with Power Failure and Damage after Tempest Lee Sweeps Maritimes


On Sunday, following the aftermath of the post-tropical tempest Lee, thousands were caught in the dismay of continued power failure. The storm gradually vacated the Maritimes, leaving behind a trail of toppled trees and coasts scarred by the turbulent seas. By the afternoon, it had crossed past Prince Edward Island and infiltrated into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Next, it was set to swing west of the Magdalen Islands and reach the outskirts of northern Newfoundland by nightfall.

As Bob Robichaud of the Canadian Hurricane Centre indicated that day, the large scale storm would continue to have some lingering effects such as persistent, albeit weaker, winds.

The storm had displayed its full might on Saturday when it descended upon the town of Shelburne in southwestern Nova Scotia. The town faced substantial flooding due to a formidable storm surge in its harbor. A pained but resolute Andy Blackmer, the commodore of the Shelburne Harbour Yacht Club, confirmed the significant damage caused by high winds, storm surge, and a precipitous high tide.

While debris was visible around the town, Blackmer also highlighted the prevailing resilience and the fact that power had been out for over an entire day. He expressed relief as conditions improved during high tide, saving the town from any more potential destruction.

Further northeast on the province’s South Shore, in the Ramey household, owners Marlene and Gary found themselves raking away the remnants of the storm from their lawn under a gray sky. Gary elucidated how the intimidating winds had danced the oak trees around their home, but resulted in nothing more than a mess of fallen branches and leaves to tidy up.

By early afternoon, the power outage had impacted nearly 13,000 homes and businesses in their town of Bridgewater, with Halifax reporting marginally higher numbers. Fast-food outlets were busier than usual as powerless residents ventured out for their daily dose of caffeine and a hot meal.

Nova Scotia Power reported deploying about 800 personnel distributed across the province to alleviate the power failure. The storm had, at its peak, affected roughly 277,000 customers, primarily due to trees falling on power lines.

Mayor Bonnie Morse of New Brunswick’s Grand Manan Island, which recived more than 100 millimeters of rain, reported no significant flood damage and quick restoration of power.

In Halifax, high winds and an aggressive storm surge led to infrastructural damage, and the city grappled with about 130 uprooted trees and wreckage on the roads. “The roads still require attention but are cautiously advised to be passable,” confirmed Erica Fleck, the city’s Chief of Emergency Management. Fleck also addressed the prevalent issue of power failure and unstable mobile and internet services.

Robichaud reconfirmed that the forecast had accurately predicted the intensity of the storm, which caused winds over 100 kilometers per hour but stopped short of hurricane strength.

On the same day, meteorologists in Quebec issued warnings of heavy rainfall across the province’s Lower North Shore, above the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which was expected to subside by evening. The cyclone was predicted to pour between 30 and 50 millimetres of rain, carrying with it a risk of sudden floods and washouts.

Previous articleStranded Luxury Cruise Liner Finally Freed from Greenland Mudflats Amid Covid-19 Cases
Next articleStormy Romance: Couple Marries Amidst Post-Tropical Storm Lee
Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here