Much of Atlantic Canada is being pummelled with heavy winds and a downpour on today, swamping some areas with extensive flooding and causing a Newfoundland town to declare a state of emergency.
Environment Canada said plummeting temperatures could cause pooling water to ice over as flash freezes take hold in some areas later in the day.
Environment Canada says a low-pressure system slowly tracked across the East Coast on Saturday, drenching the region in heavy rains.
In southern New Brunswick, total rainfall amounts had exceeded 50 millimetres in some areas by Saturday afternoon, with isolated reports of more than 100 millimetres, according to the weather agency.
It is predicted that southwestern Nova Scotia and Newfoundland’s south coast could be hit with up to 50 millimetres of rain.
More than 20,000 Maritimers were without power on Saturday morning. By around 5:30 p.m., Nova Scotia Power said electricity around 1,500 customers had been affected by outages, and New Brunswick’s power utility said around 6,700 people were blacked out.
— Premier of NL (@PremierofNL) January 13, 2018
Greg MacCallum of the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization said the rains have caused localized flooding and have damaged roads as well as the roofing of some houses.
Several rivers are at risk of overflowing and are being monitored, MacCallum said, adding that people should be on alert for signs of ice jams.
Town officials in Sussex, N.B., advised residents on a few streets to evacuate their homes due to the risk of flooding, but MacCallum said that by Saturday afternoon it appeared the river had crested and people would likely be able to return to their homes soon.
He said Hoyt, N.B., had seen significant flooding, and boats would be made available to the local fire department in the event people weren’t able to evacuate.