Hurricane Arthur slams eastern Canadian provinces, causing power cuts

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 July, 2014, 4:31am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 July, 2014, 7:59pm


Hurricane Arthur has hit Canada's eastern seaboard with powerful winds and torrential rains, knocking down trees and leaving many without power.

Canadian hurricane centre spokesman Chris Fogarty said winds were easing, but more rain was predicted for drenched southwestern New Brunswick.

In Fredericton, New Brunswick, Mike Gange said the buffeting winds tore down a maple tree in his front yard, damaging roof tiles and a rain gutter as it fell. He said that as he drove around the provincial capital he saw about 25 homes with trees down.

Gange said he has not seen weather this severe in his 41 years in Fredericton. "It's like a Tasmanian devil ripping through your backyard," he said. "It's crazy here ... at times it rains so hard you can't see [three metres] in front of you."

Arthur was downgraded from a hurricane to a post-tropical storm on Saturday by the time it reached Canada. A day earlier it hit the Outer Banks in the US state of North Carolina.

Environment Canada measured wind gusts topping 116km/h in the Halifax area, while nearly 13cm of rain had fallen in New Brunswick.

By early yesterday Hong Kong time, Arthur was 30km southwest of Moncton, New Brunswick, with sustained winds of 90 km/h.

Nova Scotia Power said about 135,000 of its customers were without electricity. New Brunswick's main supplier warned some residents could be without power for up to 48 hours because of widespread damage.

Police in Saint John, New Brunswick, said some roads were closed by flood water. The storm also caused flight cancellations and delays at the key airport in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The storm is expected to move towards Newfoundland.