Wild fall storm forecasted to batter N.S. with heavy rain, strong winds

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Heavy rain and high winds are expected Monday as Nova Scotians prepare for possible flooding and power outages. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Heavy rain and high winds are expected Monday as Nova Scotians prepare for possible flooding and power outages. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Buckle up, Nova Scotia. We're in for a wild weather ride.

An intense low pressure system began slowing moving across Nova Scotia Monday morning and is expected to stall over eastern parts of the province during the night.

All of Nova Scotia is under a rainfall warning, with Environment Canada calling for 60 to 90 millimetres of rain for much of the province, and 100 to 150 millimetres in eastern areas, as the storm continues through Wednesday morning.

Roy Hollett, deputy chief for Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency, warns people should stay home, if possible.

"Let the crews do what they need to do. What we don't want to see are storm chasers … people who want to watch and take pictures of it," he said.

"If it's coming in to what we're seeing, with the amount of rain and the wind, it's not going to be a good situation to be outside."

Tina Simpkin/CBC
Tina Simpkin/CBC

Halifax County east of Porters Lake, Guysborough County and all of Cape Breton are also under wind warnings, with maximum guts of up to 100 km/h expected. The high winds are expected to last late into Tuesday.

"In the evening [Monday], that's when the winds are really going to start to intensify," said CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin.

There's also a Les Suêtes wind warning for the area of Inverness County stretching north from Mabou.

Simpkin said the storm will "intensify and slowly move east and then be pulled back to the west before eventually kicking off into the North Atlantic. These are called retrograde systems as they move temporarily from east to west before moving off into the Atlantic."

Tina Simpkin/CBC
Tina Simpkin/CBC

Hollett said crews have been out trying to clear leaves from streets help with drainage, particularly in flood-prone areas of Halifax.

"If you notice you have a storm drain or a drain in front of your house, please go out. Take an extra couple of minutes, clean up the leaves. The problems will happen when the drains start to clog up and the water can't use it," said Hollett.

Hollett said households should have enough food, water and medication for 72 hours. Check out more on storm preparedness here.

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. In a tweet Monday morning, the Halifax Warming Centre said it would also be opening the George Dixon Community Centre on Brunswick Street for those in need of a warm, dry place to sleep.

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

The municipality said in a news release it was working with the province to provide "temporary emergency shelters" and comfort centres to those in local homeless encampments. 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.

Ferries cancelled and delayed

Some ferry crossings are being cancelled or rescheduled due to the storm.

Marine Atlantic's ferry from North Sydney, N.S., to Port aux Basques, N.L., for Monday at 11:45 a.m. AT is now scheduled to depart an hour earlier, weather permitting. The ferry service also cancelled its Monday evening crossings and said the storm could impact crossings through Thursday.

Northumberland Ferries Limited said its crossings between P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, and between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia may be delayed or cancelled on Monday.

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