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Winter storm pummels Atlantic Canada, leaving power outages and icy roads

Ronald Toombs clears snow in North Rustico, PEI, on Feb. 16, 2014. A major winter storm has battered the Maritimes with high winds, blowing snow and storm surges along the coast.

ANDREW VAUGHAN/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Heavy snow and high winds were wreaking havoc across the Atlantic provinces Sunday, causing power outages and dangerous driving conditions.

The storm blanketed New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island with snow overnight Saturday and brought a mix of rain, freezing rain and snow to Nova Scotia.

Up to 35 centimetres of snow was expected across Newfoundland on Sunday, with winds gusting up to 130 kilometres an hour in some areas.

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The Confederation Bridge connecting New Brunswick and PEI was closed on Sunday morning as the weather worsened.

RCMP say deteriorating road conditions and near-zero visibility caused a pileup involving at least five vehicles on the PEI side of the bridge, but no one was seriously injured.

Nova Scotia Power says about 4,800 customers were without power on Sunday, although that number had dropped to about 500 by the afternoon.

The power company says crews were standing by as high winds were expected in the Cape Breton area on Sunday evening.

The Mounties in parts of Newfoundland were warning residents only to venture out in emergencies because of whiteout driving conditions.

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