Thousands without Power as Storm Lee Leaves Maritimes in Darkness


As the post-tropical storm Lee progressively vacated the Maritimes, several thousands were left in darkness, with their power yet to be restored. The storm’s harsh fury was evident in the numerous trees it had downed and the coastline ravaged by heavy surf.

By afternoon, the storm had drifted from Prince Edward Island and was making way into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It was predicted to steer west of the Magdalen Islands, reaching northern Newfoundland by dusk.

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The storm’s vast stature implies that several regions will continue experiencing its winds for a couple more hours, albeit less vehemently as it continues to weaken, expressed Bob Robichaud, a representative from the Canadian Hurricane Centre.

Shelburne, a town in southwestern Nova Scotia, was witness to the storm’s full force when it struck on Saturday. A mighty storm surge inflicted some flooding in the town’s harbour.

Andy Blackmer, of the Shelburne Harbour Yacht Club, stated that the town had experienced a direct hit, with the wind’s intensity coupled with high tides and storm surges causing flooded low-lying areas and damages to town infrastructure.

According to Blackmer, a privately moored sailboat had broken free at one time but was then secured across the harbour by two club members. Thankfully, the town escaped further damage from oceanic waters due to favourable timing of tide and wind.

Meanwhile, Marlene and Gary Ramey, residents of Bridgewater, located on the province’s southeast South Shore, were found cleaning a thick layer of leaves and branches scattered on their lawn. The previous day’s wind had been quite “howling”, described Gary, making the big oaks surrounding their house move menacingly, although thankfully, no trees were uprooted.

As of 1 p.m., almost 13,000 households and business establishments in Bridgewater were without power. Halifax reported higher outages, with 16,000 still in the darkness. In Bridgewater and its neighbouring towns, fast-food joints ironically were doing exceptionally good business, as residents without power sought coffee, hot meals, and wifi.

Nova Scotia Power reported about 800 personnel working across the province to restore electricity. At the peak of the storm, around 277,000 customers were reportedly affected.

On New Brunswick’s Grand Manan Island, Mayor Bonnie Morse confirmed no major floods despite a rainfall of over 100 millimetres. While there were power outages at the storm’s peak, electricity was promptly restored to most homes and businesses.

In St. George, N.B., the aftermath of storm Lee was evident at Canal Beach, where a metal wharf was found partially submerged after being dragged a few metres.

In Halifax, officials were assessing the damage caused by Saturday’s high winds and storm surge that threw big rocks and boulders onto some coastal roads. Road washouts and as many as 130 uprooted trees were reported, with the city’s emergency chief, Erica Fleck, confirming intermittent mobile and internet services due to outages.

Meanwhile, Quebec’s Lower North Shore had rainfall warnings issued due to the cyclone moving into the adjoining Gulf of St. Lawrence, with potential flash floods and washouts due to the expected torrential rains.