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Storm cuts power to thousands

Powerful winds, heavy rain and snow led to power outages and traffic problems across the Maritimes on Wednesday.

Transport officials in Nova Scotia say a toll highway notorious for sudden snow squalls was blocked early in the day when several tractor-trailers got stuck on a hill approaching either side of the toll booth plaza.

Motorists were advised to avoid the Cobequid Pass, which is along one of the highways that links northern Nova Scotia with New Brunswick.

Spokeswoman Pam Menchenton says the eastbound lane of Highway 104 was eventually opened, but a section of the westbound lanes remained closed as crews tried to clean up the mess.

She said matters were made worse by the fact that automated message signs along the highway malfunctioned when the storm moved through.

Meanwhile, there were sporadic power outages in New Brunswick, and about ten thousand residents and businesses in Nova Scotia were without power as strong gusts pulled down power lines.

As well, the Confederation Bridge was temporarily closed to high-sided vehicles, motorcycles and cars pulling trailers.

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