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A tree down in Milton, Nova Scotia after fierce winter storms ripped through Atlantic Canada.


Nova Scotians have gone through yet another winter weather system that was powerful enough to snap hydro poles and knock out electricity for thousands — yet many found creative ways to get through holiday celebrations.

The province's utility was working Wednesday to complete restoration of power, mainly on the province's south shore, with the goal of having most businesses and homes reconnected by early afternoon.

The storm that whipped up on Christmas morning delivered gusts that reached near hurricane force — clocking over 100 kilometres per hours in some areas — peaking through Monday evening.

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However, the winds mostly came after the precipitation, avoiding a full-out blizzard and ice storm in most areas.

In Halifax, Denise MacDonell adapted by firing up a barbecue and continued cooking her turkey until it ran out of propane, though the family didn't consume the bird until Tuesday.

On Christmas evening, they called Zen Chinese Cuisine. The restaurant's owners were just preparing a meal for their own family but nonetheless reopened to cook some food for MacDonell, her daughter and her husband.

"They were cooking for their own family Christmas party, and they still cooked us food," said MacDonell. "It was really, really nice of them."

Sharon Anderson, a building superintendent in Halifax, said some power was lost in apartment buildings she manages in Dartmouth's north end on Monday afternoon, and her phone rang 50 to 60 times from tenants seeking information.

Fortunately, the three buildings with over 400 people in them only lost a portion of their power, she said.

"I don't think people suffered too much, other than it became cold just before the power came back on," she said in a telephone interview.

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"Nova Scotia Power does the best they can. Hospitals and nursing homes come first. They have to look after shut-ins before they come to assist the private sector."

Outside of the capital, there were still about 8,000 homes and businesses without electricity as of 11 a.m. local time on Wednesday, with over 150,000 people having had their power restored in two days.

Anderson said other families lost Christmas meals that were in the oven, with one relative posting social media photos of herself eating crackers.

Twitter feeds described residents eating dinner by candlelight in darkened homes.

The provincial utility said more than 700 personnel were working to finish restoration of service on Wednesday, as temperatures plunged across the region.

Wednesday's weather forecast predicted wind chill values between minus 26 and minus 30 Celsius in Nova Scotia, and between minus 30 and minus 35 in New Brunswick.

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The cold conditions are expected to stick around until the weekend.

Meanwhile, residents of northern and western New Brunswick were still digging out after the Christmas Day storm.

Environment Canada says Bathurst recorded 46 centimetres of snow while Northampton, just south of Woodstock, picked up 38 centimetres.

Miramichi saw 27 centimetres of snow, about 20 centimetres fell in Moncton, Base Gagetown reported 17 centimetres, and 16 centimetres fell in Saint John.

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