Winter storm continues to disrupt Christmas Day travel in some parts of Canada – Canada

The latest:

  • Weather warnings or statements remain in place for most provinces and territories early Sunday.
  • Thousands of customers still without power in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.
  • Via Rail cancelled all trains between Toronto-Ottawa and Toronto-Montreal scheduled for Sunday.
  • Rainfall warnings and flood watches issued in Vancouver and southwestern B.C. 

  • CBC Lite: If the power or data on your device is low, get your storm updates on CBC Lite. It’s our low-bandwidth, text-only website.

Thousands of people hoping to travel for Christmas Day festivities in Canada remain stuck as winter storm conditionsthat have stretched into a third day in some areas have forced the cancellation of planes and trains.

P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador are the only regions not affected by an Environment Canada weather warning or statement as of 11 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Train cancellations in Ontario, Quebec

A Saturday evening tweet from Via Rail announced a CN train derailment forced the carrier to cancel travel between Toronto-Ottawa and Toronto-Montreal that had been scheduled for Christmas Day.

It came shortly after ferocious winter weather grounded flights and stranded nine trains between Ontario and Quebec, in some cases leaving passengers without food or water for more than 12 hours.

A man dressed as Santa Claus rides a bike through the snow while giving a thumbs up.
Brian Dickie, dressed as Santa Claus, gives a thumb-up as drivers honk while he rides his bike through the snowy streets of Carleton Place, Ont., on Saturday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Meanwhile, power outages and impassable roads have prompted Ontario’s Niagara region to declare a state of emergency, with residents urged to stay off the roads.

“Residents and visitors should avoid all travel to the southern areas of the Region specifically the municipalities of Fort Erie, Wainfleet and Port Colborne,” the region said in a news release Saturday evening.

On the same day, Chatham-Kent in southwestern Ontario also declared a state of emergency after road conditions led to multiple crashes and left hundreds of people stranded.

As of Christmas morning, Hydro One is reporting over 59,000 customers without power in Ontario, while Hydro-Québec is showing over 137,000 customers in the dark.

A fallen tree is shown next to a road that is covered in snow.
A fallen tree is shown next to a road in Montreal on Saturday following a storm in the region. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Snowsqualls expected in part of N.B.

In New Brunswick, outages have been reported in almost all parts of the province after two days of high wind gusts and heavy rain.

Nearly 7,000 customers were without power as of about 12 p.m. AT, according to the N.B. Power outage map

On Saturday, New Brunswick grappled with one of the largest outages to hit the province in decades, with over 71,000 customers without power at the peak of the outage.

A van drives through major puddles in Fredericton on Saturday morning. Parts of New Brunswick have seen flash freezes, heavy rain, freezing rain and/or snow so far this weekend. (CBC )

N.B. Power spokesperson Marc Belliveau said more than 500 crew members and 30 contractors are working on restoring power.

Environment Canada issued special weather statements for the Fundy coast and along southeast New Brunswick, saying that snow squalls are expected throughout Sunday morning.

Roadways and walkways may become difficult to navigate and motorists should be prepared for “winter driving conditions,” according to the statements.

Southwest B.C. under flood watch

Rainfall warnings and flood watches were issued in Vancouver and southwestern B.C., with heavy rain in the region following a week of snowstorms.

The storm that swept through the region on Friday led to hundreds of flight cancellations and the closure of crucial arterial bridges in Metro Vancouver, as well as ferry suspensions and avalanche risk elsewhere in B.C.

Most flights and ferries resumed service on Saturday, although some delays were reported, according to Vancouver airport officials and B.C. Ferries.

Among the regions that saw significant snow was the Southern Interior, where a passenger bus crash on Saturday evening sent 53 people to hospital, according to officials. It hasn’t been determined if the weather played a role in the crash.

Images from the winter storms across Canada:  

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