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Plans of all sorts were scattered by the wind and rain that an intense low-pressure system brought to Nova Scotia on Saturday.
Ski Martock, which boasted of awesome conditions Friday, had changed its tune by morning. “Today is a good day to finish your shopping,” the Hants County hill declared on its Facebook page.
Ski Wentworth, which had also been open Friday and is situated in an area that’s billed as “the valley of snow,” was shut as well but indicated that operators were optimistic conditions would improve Sunday.
Skates at the Halifax Common were, not surprisingly, blown off schedule. Even if the ice hadn’t gotten covered by water in the 13 C warmth — at a time of year when the normal high and low is 1 C and -8 C — staying upright on the oval would have been challenging with the wind gusting from the south at about 70 kilometres an hour in the morning.
Marine Atlantic’s Saturday crossings between North Sydney and Port aux Basques, N.L., both had departures pushed back by 12 hours due to high winds and sea conditions. The weather also caused Bay Ferries to cancel Friday’s trip from Digby and Saturday morning’s return from Saint John, N.B.
Folks trying to get around by air were probably frustrated, too. Halifax Stanfield International Airport showed most flights arriving and departing were delayed into the early afternoon, and a few flights within Atlantic Canada were cancelled on a day that likely would have been a popular choice for holiday travellers. The J.A. Douglas McCurdy Airport in Sydney listed a couple of flight delays, as well.
Nova Scotia’s Emergency Management Office warned Friday that the heavy rain — forecast to amount to as much as 30 to 50 millimetres, with a chance of higher amounts in some areas — could combine with melting snow and frozen ground to cause minor flooding in parts of the province. At one point Saturday morning, Halifax Regional Police closed an Eastern Passage-bound lane on Highway 111 due to water on the road.
After hitting an initial peak in the early morning, Nova Scotia Power Inc. was reporting 26 outages due to high winds in the province that affected about 2,600 customers by mid-afternoon. The trouble spots ranged the length of the province, from Yarmouth to the Cheticamp area in Cape Breton. Most of the outages were expected to be cleared up by late afternoon.
At 1 p.m., CFB Greenwood was the warmest spot in the country, at 16 C, according to Environment Canada. Sunday will likely be a different story.
While the weather forecaster ended the rainfall warning for the Halifax region at 11 a.m., cold winds behind the system were expected to take temperatures to below freezing overnight. Warnings were still in place Saturday afternoon for eastern parts of the province, where strong winds were expected to continue north of Mabou and rainfall warnings remained for southern Inverness, Richmond, Victoria and Guysborough counties, as well as the Sydney region.