Arthur has been downgraded to a tropical storm but its near-hurricane strength winds have delivered a powerful hit to Canada’s Maritime provinces after brushing past North Carolina’s precariously exposed Outer Banks on the Fourth of July, causing far less damage than feared.
In Canada, Nova Scotia Power said 113,000 of its customers were without power late on Saturday morning, while the utility in New Brunswick reported almost 100,000 outages by mid-afternoon.
NB Power said the largest number of outages was in Fredericton where winds of more than 100 km/h knocked down trees.
The storm caused flight cancellations and delays at the region’s largest airport in Halifax. Strong winds and heavy rain were expected to continue through Saturday night, the US National Hurricane Center said.
The storm was about 153 kilometres west-northwest of Halifax on Saturday afternoon.
Environment Canada measured wind gusts there topping 115 km/h.
More than 11 centimetres of raid had already fallen on parts of southwestern New Brunswick by Saturday afternoon.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Prince Edward Island said a number of electrical poles had been knocked down by the storm and roads were blocked by downed trees.
Like North Carolina, the northeastern New England states were also largely spared damage spawned by the storm but some 19,000 people in Maine and 1600 in Vermont were without power after high winds and heavy rains pounded the region.
There were reports of localised flooding in coastal areas of Massachusetts and the Nova Star Ferry suspended service on Friday and Saturday morning because of dangerous seas. No injuries or deaths have been reported.
In North Carolina, some homes and businesses were flooded, trees toppled and initially thousands were without electricity after Arthur raced through the barrier islands on Friday. Independence Day fireworks were postponed.