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Updated: Wed, 04 Dec 2013 20:29:44 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Tipped tractor-trailer on Canso Causeway blocks traffic



This tractor-trailer was caught on video tipping over in bad weather on the Canso Causeway between mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. Courtesy Shane Pettipas

This tractor-trailer was caught on video tipping over in bad weather on the Canso Causeway between mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. Courtesy Shane Pettipas

It was a messy day for drivers in the Maritimes as snow, wind and rain battered the region's roads.

The Canso Causeway, which connects Cape Breton Island with mainland Nova Scotia, was blocked because of a tipped tractor-trailer.

Police guided traffic through one open lane, as they waited for a crane to arrive to remove the truck. Strong winds prevented crews from using the crane for hours. The Department of Transportation said the scene wasn't expected to be cleared up until after midnight.

There are no reports of injuries, said Nova Scotia RCMP.

The Cobequid Pass, a section of the Trans-Canada Highway, was closed for the morning after slick roads had vehicles at a standstill. Both lanes of the highway were opened at approximately 2:30 p.m. AT.

RCMP said five or six tractor-trailers got stuck in the snow around 4:30 a.m. trying to get up a hill between Thomson Station and Oxford.

Derek Rowes said he was driving his tractor-trailer toward the toll pass when suddenly he had nowhere to turn.

"There's nobody going eastbound. The last radio report I got from another driver is that he turned at the toll booth and came back, but he must have been sitting there for quite a while because now they're lined up," Rowes told CBC’s Information Morning.

"It's part of driving in Atlantic Canada. Just sit back, wait and expect the unexpected," he said. John Hanlon was driving to Saint John when he got stuck on the road.

Drivers have been sitting at a standstill for hours.

"Fortunately I'm retired, so if it takes me four days to get back home, I'm OK," said Jurgen Brzozowski. 

The problem comes on the heels of another truck mishap on the same stretch of highway on Tuesday night, when four semi-trailers crashed near Exit 7. One person was hurt.

Meanwhile, the RCMP asked drivers to stay off the roads on P.E.I. unless absolutely necessary, as a winter storm rolled over the Island.

Icy roads, school cancellations 

"Atlantic Canada is a real mess today as a powerful low-pressure centre continues to plow across eastern Nova Scotia," reported CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland.

"Wind warnings are out across much of Nova Scotia and P.E.I. for gusts easily topping 100 km/h."

A wind and rainstorm, which had already turned to snow in western P.E.I. early Wednesday morning, shut down schools across the province. UPEI and government offices also remained closed through the day.

Power outages

On Wednesday evening, more than 5,000 people in Cape Breton were without electricity. 

Nearly 10,000 people on Prince Edward Island were also in the dark. Maritime Electric crews were working until midnight, but the company warned that some people's power may not be reconnected until Thursday.

The ferry that connects Wood Islands, P.E.I., with Caribou, N.S., was not running Wednesday. 

Marine Atlantic cancelled its ferry crossings to and from North Sydney.

The wind also forced Confederation Bridge to restrict high-sided vehicles from crossing. 

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