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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 December 2007, 05:22 GMT
Canada suffers snowstorm's wrath
A woman struggles in the snow in Toronto (16 December 2007)
Some 50cm (20in) of snow fell in some parts

A snowstorm that caused major disruption in eastern Canada and the north-eastern US still has Canada's Atlantic provinces in its grip.

The storm, which began on Saturday, was one of the worst in the region for decades, Canadian forecasters said.

Some 20,000 people in the province of New Brunswick were without power as high winds tore down power lines.

The driving snow and sleet were blamed for several deaths over the weekend, and caused widespread travel problems.

The weather system has moved north-eastwards to Newfoundland and Labrador after hitting the Great Lakes area, eastern Canada and New England on Sunday.

Residents throughout the affected regions were trapped in their homes, after the storm dumped as much as 50cm (20in) of snow.

'Out of practice'

David Phillips, a senior climatologist at Canada's weather service, Environment Canada, said Canadians appeared less prepared for heavy snow after recent milder winters.

"We seem to be out of practice. It's amazing what a couple of warm winters will do," he said.

The weekend snowfall forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights across Canada and the US.

The snowstorm, which had earlier hit the Midwestern US, brought blizzards, hail, freezing rain and high winds to Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces of Canada late on Saturday and throughout Sunday.

A photo by Alan Bristow of his road in Ottowa after the heaviest snowfall there on record

In Toronto and Montreal, heavy snow combined with winds gusting up to 70km/h (45 mph) caused conditions that led to several people accidentally driving off icy motorways, transport officials said.

One woman was killed near London, Ontario, when her vehicle was hit by a snow plough after she had pulled over to fix a windshield wiper.

Slippery roads in the US were blamed for four deaths in Indiana, two in Michigan and one in Wisconsin and one in Pennsylvania.

Around 160,000 customers were left without electricity in parts of Pennsylvania on Sunday after heavy snow damaged power lines.

The snowfall comes less than a week after an ice storm claimed 38 lives in the Midwest, most of them in road accidents. Tens of thousands of people in the affected areas of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri still have no electricity.

Weather map
Source: BBC Weather

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