Eastern Nova Scotia, Cape Breton expected to be hit hardest by upcoming rainstorm

·3 min read
This week's storm will likely bring up to 80 millimetres of rain for most of N.S., while the eastern areas and Cape Breton will see the highest downpours up to 150 millimetres. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC - image credit)
This week's storm will likely bring up to 80 millimetres of rain for most of N.S., while the eastern areas and Cape Breton will see the highest downpours up to 150 millimetres. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC - image credit)

The eastern parts of Nova Scotia are likely be hit hardest by an approaching storm set to cover the Maritimes over the next couple of days.

According to CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon, the heaviest rain and strongest winds will ramp up Monday and continue through Tuesday for Nova Scotia, likely into Wednesday for eastern areas.

While moisture is coming in from the open ocean, meaning there's limited data available for forecast models, Snoddon said rainfall totals of more than 50 millimetres appear likely for most Nova Scotians by Thursday.

The highest totals of 80 to 150 millimetres are most likely in eastern areas between Halifax and Cape Breton.

Ryan Snoddon/CBC
Ryan Snoddon/CBC

Snoddon said heavy downpours increase the risk of localized flooding, especially in the east.

Winds will likely gust 60 to 80 km/h during the storm, with the strongest most likely hitting the Atlantic coastline, eastern mainland Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton.

The strongest winds will ramp up Monday, then taper off from west to east through Tuesday.

Environment Canada has issued rainfall warnings for a large swath of the province, covering all areas west of Cumberland, Colchester and Halifax counties. There's also a Les Suêtes wind warning for Inverness County — Mabou and north.

Special weather statements are in place for all other parts of the province.

"The area that doesn't have warnings yet is ironically in the crosshairs of the storm the most," said Environment Canada meteorologist Spencer Clements.

He expects rainfall warnings to be in place across the province by 5 a.m. AT Monday.

Storm likely to retreat, then return

However, Snoddon said the system is then looking set to retreat back to the west and return for a weaker second round on Wednesday night into Thursday.

St. Matthew's United Church on Barrington Street in Halifax is opening during the storm as a warming centre and extreme weather shelter from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Halifax councillors Waye Mason and Tony Mancini tweeted on Sunday that they were waiting for more information on emergency overnight shelters for those experiencing homelessness who are in outdoor areas like Meagher Park.

On Sunday afternoon, Halifax Search and Rescue tweeted it had been requested by Halifax Fire & Emergency to check wooded areas for people ahead of the storm.

"Searchers plus our light vehicles will be responding to the request to help keep our homeless community members safe," the tweet said.

The municipality confirmed it was working with the province to provide "temporary emergency shelters" and comfort centres to those in local homeless encampments, according to a release from HRM. No other details of the shelters were provided.

"These accommodations will provide individuals, and their belongings, a safe place to stay during the storm," the release said.

The Halifax municipality's emergency operations centre will be activated Monday morning and remain open until the storm has passed.

The Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office said in a release that the storm may cause flooding, storm surges and power outages.

Residents across the province are urged to follow a storm preparation checklist that includes moving patio furniture and light objects inside, having enough food and water on hand for 72 hours, and checking flashlight batteries.

Ferry crossings impacted

In Halifax, people can call 311 to report issues like flooding, downed trees or blocked roadways.

Some ferry crossings have been altered due to the weather.

Marine Atlantic's North Sydney to Port aux Basques ferry for Monday at 11:45 a.m. is now scheduled to depart Monday at 10:45 a.m., weather permitting.

Northumberland Ferries Limited said their crossings between P.E.I. and Nova Scotia may experience delays or cancellations on Monday.


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