Nova Scotians in high-risk areas encouraged to get out of Teddy’s path

As Nova Scotians brace for the arrival of Teddy, currently a Category 1 hurricane, officials are urging people to stay away from the Atlantic coast, where an expected storm surge threatens to damage infrastructure and endanger anyone close to the water.

The latest track has Teddy making potential landfall as a strong post-tropical storm Wednesday morning over Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, but weather conditions are expected to deteriorate before then.

In a news release from the city of Halifax late Tuesday afternoon, residents in high-risk areas in the Sambro area, Peggys Cove and along the Eastern Shore were being encouraged to relocate.

“Citizens are encouraged to be in alternative locations prior to the arrival of the storm,” the release said.

The road to Peggys Cove, Lawrencetown Road, and Highway 207 from Seaforth and Chezzetcook have been closed to non-residents.

Stronger winds coming

CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon says the opening round of the storm has produced some heavy downpours and strong wind gusts. Peak gusts — as of 6 p.m. — reached 80-100 km/h along parts of the Atlantic coastline.

Snoddon said much of New Brunswick and P.E.I. will continue to see rain and widespread winds gusts exceeding 50-80 km/h. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia will begin to feel a lull in rain and strongest winds.

The lull moves northward across P.E.I. and New Brunswick overnight. Light rain and a few stronger gusts are still possible during this time.

The second round will approach from the south.

Hurricane Teddy is expected to weaken to a tropical storm by the time it arrives in Atlantic Canada, but preparations are underway, especially in areas devastated by Hurricane Dorian last year. 3:22

Snoddon said rainfall totals by the end of the first round are likely to be in the 20-40 millimetres range, with some pockets closer to 50 mm. He said Teddy will approach the coast of Nova Scotia through the early-mid morning hours on Wednesday.

“It’s expected that Teddy will make landfall along the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia as a post-tropical storm with Category 1 hurricane-force winds,” he said.

There is a chance Teddy could make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, but Snoddon said that chance is slim.

“It’s really becoming post-tropical,” he said.

Snoddon said areas near and just east of the track along the Eastern Shore and across Cape Breton can expect a period of sustained winds near 60 km/h with gusts exceeding the 90-110km/h range. 

Elsewhere, across Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and southeastern New Brunswick winds will increase with gusts in the 60-80 km/h range.

Storm surge

As the centre of Teddy brings another push of strong winds, Snoddon said it will also bring another round of storm surge and pounding waves, exceeding 10 metres over eastern areas.

High tide late Wednesday morning and early afternoon will be another area of particular concern for eastern Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and also for the north shore of P.E.I. 

Snoddon said strong winds with gusts near and exceeding 100 km/h are still possible across Cape Breton on Wednesday afternoon.

A fishing boat is shown tied up Tuesday in Seaforth, a community on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. (Preston Mulligan/CBC)

“As Teddy begins to depart, we’ll see the rain tapering off and the strongest winds easing from southwest to northeast across the region,” he said. 

Cape Breton, the Northumberland shore of Nova Scotia and P.E.I. will also continue to see gusts howling a little longer into the evening.

“Lingering light rain over P.E.I. and eastern Nova Scotia will depart west to east through the evening and overnight,” Snoddon said.

‘Please stay back’ from shorelines

Municipal Affairs Minister Chuck Porter, who is in charge of Nova Scotia’s Emergency Management Office, said people need to stay away from coastlines and riverbanks.

“I know people are attracted to the shoreline. They love to watch the waves. I just want to caution folks: please stay back. Remember, if you get trapped up there, somebody has to come and try to rescue you. So we are putting people in jeopardy unnecessarily by doing such things.”

Porter said he urges the public to avoid non-essential travel as the storm picks up.

Nova Scotia Power

Nova Scotia Power has 300 crews on standby across the province to tend to any damage the storm could do to the power grid. Mark Sidebottom, the utility’s chief operating officer, told reporters 170 of those crews came to Nova Scotia from outside the province, but from within the Atlantic bubble in place to control the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re watching very closely the track of the storm,” Sidebottom said. “We will mobilize crews as we understand where there may be more damage versus others. But we have actually a good spread across the province right now for initial response.”

Sidebottom said the power utility spent $20 million over the past year to clear tree branches and other vegetation to “storm-harden” the system in preparation for major storms, like Teddy.

High winds and rain had already started causing some power outages across the province Tuesday afternoon, according to Nova Scotia Power’s website. Sidebottom encouraged people to use Nova Scotia Power’s online outage map for information about power outages and restoration times.

As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, about 3,600 Nova Scotia Power customers had lost power.

The biggest outage is along the Digby Neck peninsula, where nearly 1,300 people are without power with an estimated restoration time of Thursday afternoon.

In nearby Culloden, 400 people have lost power, and an additional 362 customers are without power in Smiths Cove. In the Delaps Cove, Parkers Cove, and Hillsburn areas, there are 589 people without power.

Environment Canada’s hurricane track for Teddy as of 9 a.m. Tuesday. (Environment Canada)

Tiffany Chase, spokesperson for the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, told CBC that all flights departing before 8 a.m. Wednesday have been cancelled.

Halifax Regional Municipality suspended ferry service at 2:30 p.m. Other Halifax Transit buses will be pulled off the road at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening, with a tentative resumption of service at noon Wednesday, according to Halifax Mayor Mike Savage. 

The municipality is posting hurricane-related service disruptions on its website.


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