Severe thunderstorm, Caraquet, NB, 18 May 2017 (R.Mallais/Twitter)
After a severe ice storm in February, the Acadian Peninsula has been hit with bad weather again and this time by possible tornadoes.
Environment Canada is investigating after social media showed downed power poles, partially collapsed roofs and overturned concrete last night.
Severe thunderstorms can cause straight line winds with gusts as high as 130 km/h which is the same strength as the lowest level of tornado.
NB Power is working to restore electricity for thousands in northeastern New Brunswick and it could be sometime tomorrow before full restoration occurs.
The same frontal trough of low pressure moved into Greater Moncton this afternoon creating a 9 degree temperature drop (23 C to 14 C) in less than an hour and a wind direction change from southwest to northeast.
Members of the military go door to door in Lameque, NB, 31 Jan 2017 (JTFA/Twitter)
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been dispatched to the Acadian Peninsula to help in the cleanup following the recent ice storm.
Thousands are still without electricity in northeastern New Brunswick almost a week after the devastating storm.
About 200 members of the military are doing various tasks including going door to door in communities to check on residents who may still be in their homes.
NB Power describes this “crisis” event as being worse than Hurricane Arthur in 2014.
Icy road on the Acadian Peninsula, 27 Jan 2017 (Twitter)
While Greater Moncton was hard hit by this week’s ice storm so was much of eastern New Brunswick including the Acadian Peninsula.
At least three communities have declared states of emergency – Tracadie-Sheila, Lameque and Shippagan – in what has been the most devastating ice storm in recent memory.
Two deaths have been reported and many others hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning related to an alternate source of indoor heating amid the massive power outages.
Power poles have snapped in half under the weight of ice-laden lines and downed trees and branches have shut down roads as the cleanup begins.
As of Saturday 28 January at 9am, NB Power reports about 46,000 customers are still without power and almost half are in the Acadian Peninsula.
Power pole and lines dangling in NW Moncton, 25 Jan 2017 (Facebook)
Some residents of New Brunswick have been without power for more than 24 hours after the worst ice storm in recent memory.
NB Power has about 250 crews on the ground and more from neighbouring Nova Scotia trying to restore electricity in what officials are calling a “huge weather event”.
By the end of today, the power utility believes 80 percent of customers in Greater Moncton and Sussex will be back on the grid while 60 percent in Shediac, Sackville and Miramichi should be restored.
Warming centres have opened in several communities where residents can seek shelter and charge their electronic devices.
Fortunately temperatures are not very cold and should not fall below freezing until early Friday.
Part of a trampoline blew into power lines, Quispamsis, NB, 30 Dec 2013 (NB Power/Twitter)
Strong winds with gusts of more than 100 km/h in parts of New Brunswick knocked out power to more than 20,000 customers at the peak of the storm.
The so-called “weather bomb” resulted after two low pressure systems – one from the west and the other from the south – merged over the Maritimes.
Nova Scotia got pounding rain, wind and rough surf while New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had a combination of snow, rain and gusty winds.
Greater Moncton received about 5 cm snow and 10 mm of rain along with wind gusts up to 89 km/h bringing down tree many branches.
NB Power crews working near Fredericton, 01 Dec 2016 (NB Power/Twitter)
Three storms over a four day period brought an early blast of winter to Southeast New Brunswick.
The first was a Nor’easter which packed the smallest punch with just a dusting of snow in Greater Moncton (2 cm), the second delivered heavy, wet snow (26 cm) and the third started as snow (5.8 cm) but changed to rain (7.6 mm).
The heavy, wet snow brought down trees and branches causing thousands of power outages across southern New Brunswick on Wednesday.
Thousands more lost power when snow fell across the northern part of the province on Thursday.
Melting snow in west end Moncton, 24 March 2016 (Dearing)
With a Colorado Low heading to New Brunswick tomorrow bringing a mixed bag of precipitation, travel could be tricky as the Easter long weekend begins.
Environment Canada has issued snowfall and freezing rain warnings for most of the province except the south from an area including Greater Moncton to Saint John and St. Stephen.
The storm originated over the American Rockies in Colorado where more than 30 cm of snow fell before it swept across the Great Plains along with Ontario and Quebec.
NB Power says it is ready for the storm with staff on standby and 60 contractor crews spread over key areas of the province in the event of outages.
Fall leaves barely cling to trees in west end Moncton, 28 Oct 2015 (Dearing)
What’s left of a recent hurricane that struck Mexico has made its way across the Maritimes after a brush with Ontario and Quebec.
The remnants of Patricia brought rain and winds gusting to at least 70 km/h.
Forecasters say strong winds across New Brunswick are creating rough surf along the coast especially the Bay of Fundy.
Up to 30 mm of rain is expected in Greater Moncton by the time the system moves away overnight.
The fall storm led to power outages with NB Power noting a peak of roughly 8,000 customers without electricity.
Trees and branches down in Fredericton, NB, 06 July 2014 (Twitter)
NB Power says the aftermath of Arthur is the worst event for outages in the history of the provincial utility.
At the peak, about 140,000 customers were left in the dark in New Brunswick and the majority of those were in the Fredericton region.
Officials in the provincial capital estimate more than 2,000 trees either came down or were damaged during the storm and that has created havoc for power crews.
A spokesperson for NB Power anticipates that 80 percent of customers will have electricity back by Wednesday.
In the meantime, a number of public buildings have been turned into recharging stations for medical devices, mobile phones and tablets/laptop computers.
UPDATE – Eight days after Arthur, NB Power is still reporting about 4,000 outages, mostly in Greater Fredericton, due to a tangled mess of downed trees and power lines.
Power crews working in St. George, NB, 28 Dec 2013 (NB Power)
Power crews have been working around the clock since an ice storm impacted New Brunswick almost a week ago.
The hardest hit areas have been St. Stephen and Rothesay – both experienced almost two straight days of freezing rain and ice pellets.
As of late Sunday morning, some 10,000 power customers in the province were still in the dark and the Red Cross still has so-called warming centres open in schools and community halls to help residents.
Some believe the extended outages could have been prevented if trees had been properly trimmed around power lines but crews say that work often comes with local resistance.