Confederation Bridge open to passenger vehicles

Dave Stewart
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Bridge remains closed to high-sided vehicles, trailers and motorcycles

Confederation Bridge.

P.E.I. was cut off from the mainland for a period of time around noon today.

The Confederation Bridge is currently closed to high-sided vehicles, motorcycles and vehicles towing trailers.

The restricted access is due to extremely strong winds. Gusts were reported to have been between 110 and 137 km/h on the bridge.

The ferries are also tied up for the day between P.E.I. and Caribou, N.S.

The winds also knocked out power to approximately 3,300 customers. The areas affected are Abrams Village and surrounding areas, Argyle Shore, Emyvale, Cumberland and surrounding areas. Crews have been dispatched to restore power to all customers.

High winds have caused trees and branches to come into contact with power lines causing some power outages.

Environment Canada advises sustained winds of 70 km/h with gusts up to 110 are expected today.

Environment Canada extended its latest wind warnings to cover large chunks of Atlantic Canada on Thursday as a so-called weather bomb marched across the region.

 

Forecasters say potentially damaging winds reaching 100 kilometres per hour or more were expected in almost every county of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, northern New Brunswick and the west and north coasts of Newfoundland.

 

In Prince Edward Island, the warnings have been increased to 110 kilometres per hour.

 

“Any time you get winds of this magnitude — gusting to 100 — usually you can see some small trees that may get toppled over or branches that fall off or shingles that may lift up,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Mel Lemmon.

“We’re seeing some stronger gusts than we originally forecast. That’s partly because it’s a weather bomb, and partly because of the cold air that’s going to push in behind it.” Environment Canada meteorologist Mel Lemmon

 

“We’re seeing some stronger gusts than we originally forecast. That’s partly because it’s a weather bomb, and partly because of the cold air that’s going to push in behind it.”

 

The intensifying low-pressure system is defined as a weather bomb because the barometric pressure within the centre of the storm is expected to drop more than 24 millibars in 24 hours. The lower the pressure, the stronger the gusts, Lemmon said.

RCMP on Prince Edward Island remind motorists to adjust their driving habits due to the heavy rain and strong winds.

When driving in the rain and strong wind, motorists are encouraged to:

• Reduce speed and watch for puddles or dips in the road where water may be pooling.

• Drive with headlights on. It will increase visibility and will also make the vehicle more visible to other drivers.

• Refrain from using cruise control and making jerky stops and starts to prevent hydroplaning due to the buildup of water on the roads. If motorists start to hydroplane, they should stay calm and take their foot off the gas. Slowing down will usually restore contact and friction with the road surface.

The RCMP needs the support of all motorists to keep our roadways safe. Road safety begins with the person behind the wheel of a vehicle.

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  • pmguerrero
    December 08, 2011 - 12:42

    WOW........Mother Nature is very impressive. I'm aboard the mv Confederation ferry at Wood Islands. Thankfully tied up as at 12:35pm the wind shifted from SW'ly at about 35 - 40kts to WNW'ly 55 - 64 kts in a matter of a minute or two. It was like a wall of wind hit us right then. The temperature dropped from 12C to 4C in less than 10 minutes. At 13:30 now; we have WNW 60 kts steady with higher gusts. Needless to say we are tied up until further notice. Stay safe everyone!