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In Pictures: Atlantic storm causes coastal flooding

HALIFAX - The third major storm to slam into the East Coast this month caused coastal flooding Tuesday that submerged roads and wharfs in eastern New Brunswick and forced some people from their homes as a precaution.

HALIFAX - The third major storm to slam into the East Coast this month caused coastal flooding Tuesday that submerged roads and wharfs in eastern New Brunswick and forced some people from their homes as a precaution.

Around the Atlantic region, powerful wind gusts left thousands without electricity and a combination of wind and heavy seas sidelined ferry traffic between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

In New Brunswick, the Emergency Measures Organization said much of the province's eastern coastline from Shediac to Miramichi was experiencing flooding and some coastal roads were closed.

Environment Canada was predicting a storm surge of up to three metres along the province's eastern coast.

Meghan Cumby, an EMO official, said Tuesday night that dozens of people had voluntarily left their homes in the Rexton and Richibucto area and were staying elsewhere for the night.

Wharfs in Shediac, Richibucto, Pointe du Chene and Bouctouche were also under water, as were some roads.

"As far as how much damage may have been sustained, we'll have to see in the morning," Cumby said.

Premier David Alward said in an interview that residents had been advised to prepare their properties and themselves for a possible evacuation.

Alward said he has never experienced such a series of flooding events in his province over his lifetime.

"The storm surge's potential damage could be significant along the east coast," he said.

"It's very important right now that people take into consideration their health and safety and they heed the recommendations to go to higher ground."

Localized coastal flooding was also reported elsewhere, including parts of Cape Breton and northern Nova Scotia. A number of roads were closed by nightfall in Pictou County.

NB Power, Maritime Electric and Nova Scotia Power crews were working to restore power to thousands of customers who lost electricity in Cape Breton, the Annapolis Valley and in scattered parts of New Brunswick.

The EMO in New Brunswick reported that some areas were getting wind gusts in excess of 100 kilometres an hour.

In Cape Breton, high-sided vehicles and motorcycles were advised to stay off the Seal Island Bridge because of strong winds gusting up to 100 km/h.

The same types of vehicles were kept off of the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island.

The high seas and strong winds combined to keep ferries between Newfoundland and Cape Breton in harbour. Marine Atlantic says its ferries are tied up to avoid the storm system.

Tara Laing, a spokeswoman for the ferry service, said in an interview that more than 200 tractor-trailers — including some Canada Post vehicles with Christmas packages and mail — are delayed.

She said about 1,500 passengers with reservations may be affected by the delays if the ferries can't leave until Thursday.

 
 
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