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Rains drench Atlantic Canada, leading to flooding, outages and homes evacuated

Last Updated Jan 13, 2018 at 9:01 am PST

Waves pound the shore on a closed section of Highway 207 in Lawrencetown, N.S. on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. Environment Canada says a cold air mass is settling in over Atlantic Canada as parts of the region continue to battle the remnants of a fierce winter storm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

More than 20,000 Maritimers are without power as Atlantic Canada is pummelled with heavy winds and rain

Up to 50 millimetres of rainfall is expected in parts of southwestern Nova Scotia and Newfoundland's south coast

Parts of the Trans-Canada Highway in Newfoundland have been washed out or flooded

HALIFAX – Much of Atlantic Canada is being pummelled with heavy winds and a downpour on Saturday, leaving more than 20,000 Maritimers without power and leading some people in southwest New Brunswick to evacuate their homes.

Environment Canada says a low-pressure system will slowly track across the East Coast today, bringing up to 50 millimetres of rainfall to parts of southwestern Nova Scotia and Newfoundland’s south coast.

The weather agency says the frozen ground has a reduced ability to absorb the deluge, which, combined with unseasonably mild temperatures in parts of Newfoundland, could lead to substantial snowmelt and runoff.

Nova Scotia’s power utility says more than 12,500 customers were without power a little before noon on Saturday, while New Brunswick Power says nearly 10,000 others have been blacked out.

Municipal officials in Sussex, N.B., have advised some residents to evacuate their homes due to the risk of flooding, saying conditions in affected areas have become “unstable.”

In western Newfoundland, RCMP say stretches of the Trans-Canada Highway have been washed out or flooded, and social media users have posted photos of a shed partially submerged in water in Benoit’s Cove.

Environment Canada says plummeting temperatures could cause pooling water to ice over as flash freezes take hold in some areas later in the day.