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Thousands of people in Atlantic Canada still without power after winter storm Add to ...

Storms in Atlantic Canada will get worse before they get better, with heavy snowfall and strong winds continuing to assault the east coast Tuesday - leaving thousands in the dark.

The eastern seaboard was pummelled this week by a blizzard that dropped at least 30 centimetres of snow on Atlantic Canada and eastern states, six of which declared a state of emergency.

Environment Canada maintained weather warnings for Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island through Wednesday, with whiteout conditions expected in both provinces.

Coastal Newfoundland, which has already seen nearly 20 centimetres of snow since Christmas, can expect up to 45 centimetres by Wednesday evening. High winds in the northern region of the province were expected to decrease visibility.

Meanwhile, in Prince County, P.E.I, a wind warning was in effect for Tuesday, with gusts up to 90 km/h causing zero visibility and a "heavy pounding surf" along exposed northern coastlines later Tuesday, the weather service said.

Relief was expected Thursday in both the U.S. and the Maritimes, with a mix of sun and cloud and light snowfall in some areas.

However, the damage has already been done to the coast, which suffered downed power lines and flooding.

The combination of wind and snow wreaked havoc on power lines in the Maritimes, with more than 6,000 customers still without electricity in New Brunswick - Bouctouche, Miramichi and Sussex regions are among the hardest hit. At the storm's peak on Monday, as many as 20,000 people were without power in the province.

In Nova Scotia, 1,500 customers were still experiencing outages Tuesday, according to Nova Scotia Power. That number has come down from as many as 6,000 on Monday.

Prince Edward Island outages increased Tuesday, from 350 in the early morning according to reports, to 1,000 outages scattered across the province, Maritime Electric said Tuesday afternoon.

U.S. states previously declaring emergencies had begun to rescind those statuses Tuesday as weather patterns began to improve. However, whiteout conditions were still expected in New Jersey and Maine, both hard hit by the storm.

By Wednesday snowfall was expected to have let up in eastern states, with wind gusts above 50 km/h still expected until Thursday in some north eastern coastal regions.

The snow made for a strange scene in the U.S., that saw some New Yorkers revelling in Times Square and Central Park, while others worked to unbury their cars.

Transit was brought to a standstill in the city, with buses lodged in the snow and trains frozen to tracks. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority was providing limited service with major delays on its rail and subway lines for Tuesday morning's rush hour after workers removed nearly a metre of snow from tracks, according to the service's website.

The snow was also a major headache for airports, with hundreds of flights cancelled since Sunday. New York's LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International, and Newark Liberty International airports were forced to close Monday. Toronto's Pearson International Airport had over 200 grounded flights Monday.

With reports from The Canadian Press

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