Tropical storm Arthur, which hit southeastern Canada early Saturday morning, left 250,000 homes and businesses without power. The storm is now heading to Newfoundland, but with substantially less destructive potential.
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia bore the brunt of the storm's devastation on Saturday, which had been downgraded from a hurricane to a post-tropical storm as it followed a path up the eastern coast of the United States.
The agency Environment Canada said that winds topped out at 116 kph (72 mph) in the area around Halifax, Nova Scotia. At the time of their report, 12.7 centimeters of rain (5 inches) had also already fallen .
The energy provider Nova Scotia Power said that 135,000 of its customers had no electricity on Saturday afternoon. New Brunswick's main electricity company, NB Power, also reported that it had a further 115,000 outages.
NB Power said that the city of Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick, was hit hardest by the storm. Winds reaching 100 kph (62 mph) knocked down a number of trees.
Fredericton resident, Mike Grange, said that he saw several fallen trees around Fredericton, including a tree in his front yard.
"It's like a Tasmanian devil ripping through your backyard," Gange said. "It is crazy here … at times it rains so hard you can't see 10 feet in front of you."
Police reported that flood waters in Saint John, New Brunswick, resulted in the closure of several local roads. The storm also caused numerous flight cancellations and delays at the largest regional airport in Halifax.
Early on Sunday the storm should hit the northeastern province of Newfoundland with heavy rain, but with substantially diminished winds.
Daniel Brown, a senior hurricane specialist at the U.S. National Hurricane Center, said that "it lost its tropical characteristics and has become more a winter-type low."
Winds are expected not to exceed 72 kmh (45 mph).
ats/tj (AP, Reuters)