Winter storm wallops Maritimes, closing most schools

Most Maritimers woke to a deep blanket of snow Monday morning, and more harsh winter weather is expected for some throughout the day.

Total snowfall could reach 50 centimetres in parts of Nova Scotia, where the storm arrived Sunday night. Environment Canada has winter storm warnings in effect for most of the mainland and Cape Breton.

All schools in Nova Scotia have cancelled classes Monday. Colleges and universities have also called classes off for the day, and many businesses and government offices are staying closed for at least the morning.

CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin said snow and high winds will subside this morning from west to east, but flurries could continue into the afternoon, particularly in Cape Breton.

Snow started falling across Nova Scotia on Sunday evening in what forecasters are calling the biggest storm of the season to date. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

Strong winds are creating snow drifts and whiteout conditions on some roads. Halifax Regional Police began urging people Sunday evening to avoid unnecessary travel. The municipal government is also urging people to stay inside as much as possible to make way for snow plows.

More than 10,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were without power as of about 9 a.m., with most outages attributed to high winds and snow. Estimated restoration times vary from Monday morning to late evening.

New Brunswick and P.E.I.

Environment Canada has all of Prince Edward Island under weather warnings that call for up to 15 cm of snow and wind gusts up to 80 km/h. While other parts of the Maritimes will see the storm end Monday morning, P.E.I. could see sustained high winds and snow squalls into the afternoon.

P.E.I. schools are all closed for the day.

New Brunswick is avoiding the worst of the storm, but southern counties are under a snowfall warning for up to 10 cm. Some schools are closed or have delayed opening.Simpkin says the storm will end for New Brunswick Monday morning.

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