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Post-tropical Irene from U.S. soaks Canada's southeast

(Xinhua)

08:15, August 30, 2011

OTTAWA, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- After having walloped the U.S. northeast, post-tropical cyclone Irene on Monday is whipping up strong winds and dumping heavy rain on parts of Quebec and the Maritime Provinces in Canada's southeast and leaving thousands without power.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre said in an early morning statement that the center of the storm was about 95 kilometers southeast of Quebec City, and was tracking north at about 45 km/h.

"Wind warnings are still in effect for mainland Nova Scotia, all but northwestern New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and portions of southern Quebec," the center said in a statement released around 3 a.m. ET.

Elevated water levels and heavy surf are expected near noon along the Fundy coast of New Brunswick, in the St. Lawrence River, and later in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Even as a weakened storm, Irene's impact was felt midday Sunday in south and eastern Quebec, knocking out power to thousands of Quebec homes across the province and leaving destruction in its wake.

Most of the outages were in Montreal, the second largest city of Canada, as Irene's outer bands lashed at the area and hovered over New England of the United States.

Montreal police reported fallen trees and some damage to houses and apartment buildings but no injury.

Nearly 50 millimeters of rain had already fallen in parts of southern New Brunswick by late afternoon on Sunday and the wind and rain continued through the evening, leaving more than 32,000 New Brunswickers without electricity Monday morning.

Irene didn't soak Nova Scotia like it did New Brunswick, but it did bring high winds.

Air Canada said flights involving airports in Atlantic Canada might also be affected and travelers were encouraged to check the status of their flights online before heading to the airport.

Irene has already played havoc with air traffic. Dozens of flights were cancelled to the northeastern United States on Saturday by airports in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.

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