Maritime provinces brace for fall storm with torrential rain, strong winds

·2 min read

HALIFAX — Torrential rain and strong winds are expected to sweep across the Maritimes early this week, with parts of Nova Scotia expected to see as much as 150 mm of rain and winds up to 100 km/h along the coast.

Environment Canada has issued special weather statements for all three Maritime provinces, with additional rainfall, wind and freezing rain warnings in effect for areas of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

The federal forecaster says the fall storm is projected to start early Monday, with the worst conditions expected overnight into Tuesday.

Residents across the Maritimes are being warned of the potential for flash floods, water pooling on roads and power outages.

The storm comes just one week after record rainfall caused widespread flooding across southern British Columbia.

Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency deputy chief Roy Hollett says the Maritimes are not expected to see the major damage suffered in B.C., nor the disruptions in fuel and grocery supplies.

Still, he urges residents to have enough food and water on hand for 72 hours, charged cell phones and fuelled up vehicles.

Hollett also says residents can help by cleaning any debris such as leaves and needles away from storm drains near their homes, if they can do so safely.

"It's not uncommon for the (Halifax Regional Municipality) area to get a nor'easter and get significant rainfall," he said. "The issue here is how much rain we'll see over a short period of time."

The average rainfall for Nova Scotia in November is about 150 mm, the same amount that could fall in just a few days.

Hollett said one advantage to the late fall storm is that most of the trees have already lost their leaves.

He said that means there's less resistance as strong winds move through trees, making it less likely they'll be uprooted by the storm, fall over and knock out power lines.

Hollett said another potential advantage is that so far, weather forecasts do not appear to include the risk of storm surges, which can cause flooding near the coast.

"Usually our concern has been water coming in from the ocean and flooding coastal waterways, lands and roads along the ocean, but with this storm it's more about rain water accumulating," he said. "That's why it's important to clear storm drains and catch basins so water can be effectively diverted."

Hollett said municipal crews have been working to clear drains in areas prone to flooding.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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