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Updated: Sun, 15 Dec 2013 23:40:51 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Snow turns into icy rain as storm grounds Maritime flights



A passenger pushes a car in a parking lot in Halifax on Sunday. The storm is expected to dump up to 30 centimetres of snow on the region. Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press

A passenger pushes a car in a parking lot in Halifax on Sunday. The storm is expected to dump up to 30 centimetres of snow on the region. Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press

Parts of a winter storm hitting the Maritimes have turned to rain, creating black ice on the roads and sparking police requests for motorists to stay home. 

CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell created an unofficial tally of snowfall amounts as of 4:30 p.m Sunday: 

- 17 to 19 centimetres of snow in Nova Scotia.

- 15 to 22 centimetres in P.E.I.

- 22 centimetres in New Brunswick.

Mitchell said the snow is turning to rain in Nova Scotia, creating black ice on highways and roads. Temperatures are expected to fall below freezing overnight, leading to icy roads Monday.

New Brunswick and P.E.I. are still seeing snow falling.

Nova Scotia RCMP urged people to stay inside Sunday. 

"Driving conditions are poor. Motorists are encouraged to use caution. RCMP asking people to avoid driving if possible," @RCMPNS tweeted at 4:30 p.m.

Earlier Sunday, CBC’s meteorologist Peter Coade said the storm is moving faster and tracking further north than earlier predicted. 

Flights cancelled 

Dozens of flights at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, the Fredericton International Airport and the Charlottetown Airport were cancelled as the provinces grappled with winds up to 90 km/h.

The majority of flights at the Halifax airport are cancelled or delayed for Sunday morning and afternoon. Holiday travellers are being urged to call ahead to check on their flight's status.

The major airlines had been readjusting schedules well in advance of the storm.

Flights in and out of Moncton, Fredericton, Saint John, Charlottetown and Sydney are also severely impacted Sunday.

Maritime Bus, the interprovincial bus service, has delayed most of its runs in the region. Moncton's Codiac Transport says it's buses won't run after 4 p.m.

Streets that have already been plowed in Saint John are slowly being covered back up in some sections as the wind shifts it around. 

Emergency workers are urging drivers to stay at home unless it’s urgent.

Fredericton Fire Services tweeted: “Unless you want to meet our fire crews the hard way drive for conditions. Or ideally stay home, warm and cozy."

Just one lane on Seal Island Bridge in Cape Breton is open after a truck was stuck.

The A. Murray MacKay Bridge connecting Halifax to Dartmouth is closed to all high-sided vehicles.

People travelling by boat are not much better off. The ferries that usually make the crossings between P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and Newfoundland and Digby and Saint John are all tied up Sunday.

Code said tides will be high in the Northumberland Strait and storm surge could become a factor.

About 2,000 customers lost power in the Halifax area just after 10 a.m. Nova Scotia Power hasn't said what caused the outage or when it will be back. By late afternoon, more than 4,000 customers were without power across the province.

More than 400 customers lost power in Sackville, N.B. Sunday. 

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