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Much of country facing more bitter cold or rain, wind and snow today

Kids chase a puck on Lake Banook in Dartmouth, N.S. on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
January 06, 2014 - 1:00 AM

TORONTO - The first Monday of 2014 brings more dangerous wind chill readings to the Prairies while other parts of Canada face a miserable mix of freezing rain, high winds and hazardous driving conditions.

Dangerous wind chills of -50 C blanketed much of Saskatchewan and Manitoba on Sunday, with similar readings expected to prevail this morning.

However, Environment Canada said temperatures in both provinces were expected to moderate by the afternoon, followed by "significant warming" later in the week.

In Newfoundland, the battle against cold and darkness continued Sunday night when a generating station outside St. John's unexpectedly shut down, leaving about 90,000 customers without power.

The blackout came as utility crews were making steady progress restoring power following a blizzard Friday night and a hydro station fire on Saturday.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale was appealing to Newfoundlanders to conserve energy to allow customers to be reconnected to the grid.

In Nova Scotia, heavy rain and wind were forecast across the Atlantic coast region and most of Cape Breton, with around 25 millimetres expected through Monday night.

Other areas of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island were under a freezing rain warning ahead of a welcome rush of "very mild air" expected in the afternoon.

However, punishing wind gusts of up to 130 kilometres an hour were forecast for Nova Scotia's Inverness County and parts of Cape Breton.

In New Brunswick, freezing rain was likely to persist this morning in the southeast and along the Lower Saint John River Valley while freezing rain in the south was expected to change to rain by the morning.

Overnight snowfall of up to 10 centimetres, followed by ice pellets and freezing rain, was expected in central and northern regions of the province. After the freezing rain, up to 35 millimetres of rain was in the forecast, especially along the Fundy coast.

In parts of southern Ontario, a very slippery morning commute was expected to greet residents still recovering from a massive holiday period ice storm.

A mix of snow and freezing rain on Sunday night created hazardous driving conditions, with provincial police reporting "hundreds of collisions."

Temperatures were expected to drop by several degrees during the night, setting up a possible flash-freeze situation in time for the morning rush hour.

Environment Canada was predicting it would feel like -26 C with the wind chill by Monday night in the Toronto area, with winds gusting to 65 kilometres per hour.

Pearson International Airport was reporting some delays and cancellations and was advising travellers to check with their airline before heading to the airport.

Northwestern Ontario, meanwhile, was under a wind chill warning, where icy winds make it feel as cold as -45 C.

In Quebec, Environment Canada said up to 20 millimetres of freezing rain was expected to fall Sunday night over southern and central regions, changing to rain during the day.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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