Blizzard batters eastern Canada

A blizzard that swept the northeastern United States also battered three Canadian provinces Saturday, causing flight cancellations, power cuts and some coastal flooding.

Thick flakes fell in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and on Prince Edward Island, with between 30 and 40 centimeters (11 and 15 inches) of snow expected over the course of the day, according to weather forecasts.

Certain areas saw wind gusts of 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour), as two fierce weather systems bore down on the region -- one from southern Ontario and Quebec and the other from the northeastern United States, where it left at least two people dead and half a million people without electricity.

On Friday, the weather claimed at least three lives in Ontario, as two people died on the roads while an elderly woman perished shoveling snow from her driveway, public broadcaster CBC reported.

In Nova Scotia, crews were working to restore power to some 5,000 homes as authorities warned of a flood risk along the Atlantic coast between Halifax and the southwest tip of the province.

Most of the flights out of Halifax were cancelled, with no departures planned until midafternoon. Maritime and bus traffic was also suspended.

Quebec sent 50 tow trucks trucks belonging to public power company Hydro-Quebec to the United States to help restore electricity in hard hit Massachusetts, where the weather had left some 389,000 customers in the dark.