Thousands remain without power in N.B. following winter blast

NB Power crews are making progress in restoring power to thousands of customers affected by the first major winter storm of 2018.

Just over 8,000 NB Power customers remained without power as of early Friday afternoon, down from nearly 20,000 customers earlier in the day.

Most of the affected customers are in northeastern and southeastern regions of the province, according to the utility's website.

NB Power says no major infrastructure damage has been reported so far, but road access and visibility due to snow drifts continues to be a challenge for crews.

"We currently have 57 NB Power crews and 13 contractor crews throughout the province responding to the outages," said the utility in a statement.

NB Power says it will focus on restoring the transmission outage in the Lamèque area, where a "large number" of customers are impacted.

"We'll be focused first on transmission outages affecting large numbers of customers," said the utility. "As crews are able to gain access to sites, we will update [estimated restoration times]."

Snowfall totals

Many New Brunswick residents awoke Friday morning to more than foot of fresh snowfall, with snowblowers and shovels a common sight by mid-morning.

Environment Canada says Bathurst received the most snow — 51 centimetres as of Friday morning — while Miramichi recorded 44 centimetres.

Forecasters were calling for another five to 10 centimetres of snow on Friday afternoon in parts of northern New Brunswick.

Woodstock has reported 37 centimetres of snow, Oromocto (Base Gagetown) has received about 32 centimetres, about 26 centimetres has fallen in Fredericton, and Moncton has reported 14 centimetres.

Wind gusts ranged between 80 and 90 kilometres per hour in many areas throughout the province.

The storm was more wet than white in Grand Manan, which saw close to 80 millimetres of rain by Friday morning.

You can see the full list of snowfall and rainfall totals, as well as peak wind gusts at the bottom of the story.

Travel impacts

Several highways were still closed throughout the province as of early Friday afternoon, including Route 108 from Plaster Rock to Renous and Route 180 from St. Quentin to Southeast Upsalquitch River.

Officials were asking drivers to avoid travelling on several other highways, including:

  • Trans-Canada Highway from the Québec border to Grand Falls;
  • Route 7 from Finnegan Hill to Saint John;
  • Route 8 from Jeanne Mance to Bathurst;
  • Route 11 from Campbellton to Tracadie;
  • Route 17 from Saint-Leonard to Campbellton;
  • Route 108 from Drummond to Plaster Rock;
  • Route 113 from Junction Route 11 to Miscou Light House; and
  • Route 180 from Southeast Upsalquitch River to Bathurst.

In Fredericton, main routes were clear by Friday morning, but drivers were being told to expect minor delays on side streets.

City officials said sidewalks along major streets have also been plowed, but that it could take most of the day to clear all of them.

Fredericton Transit is operating on Friday with the possibility of delays, while garbage and recycling collection was delayed by 90 minutes.

Most flights are on time Friday at the Fredericton International Airport, but there are a handful of delays and cancellations.

You can find the full list of closures and delays by clicking the "cancellations" tab at the top of the page.

Weather summaries

Summary of snowfall (in cm) as of 8 a.m. AST:

  • Bathurst: 51 
  • Woodstock: 37 
  • Oromocto (CFB Gagetown): 32 
  • Doaktown: 30 
  • Kouchibouguac: 29 
  • Fredericton: 26 
  • Mechanic Settlement: 23 
  • Fundy Park: 21 
  • Miscou Island: 21 
  • Bas Caraquet: 18 
  • Bouctouche: 16 
  • Sussex: 15 
  • Moncton: 14 

Volunteer observations as of 8 a.m. AST:

  • Big River: 45 
  • Miramichi: 44 
  • Beresford: 31.4 
  • Grand Lake: 26.5 
  • New Maryland: 26.0 
  • St. Stephen: 18 
  • Dorchester: 12 

Summary of rainfall (in mm) as of 8 a.m. AST:

  • Grand Manan: 79 
  • Saint John: 18 
  • Moncton: 10 
  • Bas Caraquet: 10 (estimated) 

Summary of maximum wind gusts (in km/h) as of 5 a.m. AST:

  • Moncton: 91 
  • Bas Caraquet: 87 
  • St. Leonard: 87 
  • Miscou Island: 85 
  • Saint John: 85 
  • Miramichi: 82 
  • Sussex: 80 
  • Grand Manan: 80