(Montreal) The post-tropical storm Lee flooded roads, toppled trees and downed power lines in parts of the Maritimes on Saturday as it swept across the western tip of Nova Scotia and headed toward New Brunswick.
While Lee significantly swept away some coastal areas, particularly in the area surrounding the famous Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse in Nova Scotia, it left other areas virtually unscathed.
“I feel a lot better than I thought,” said Pam Mood, mayor of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, where meteorologists previously predicted Lee could have the biggest impact. Apart from a few fallen trees, the city had escaped significant damage late Saturday afternoon.
“We suffered much less damage than expected,” said M.me Mood in an interview. I’m not sure what happened with the (storm) track. »
It was a similar story in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, where Mayor Brad Henderson said gusts earlier in the day had largely eased as the afternoon progressed.
He said many trees fell in the community and most residents were without power Saturday afternoon, but the storm ultimately left less of a mark than expected.
“Considering that at the start of the week we were supposed to be the eye of the storm, we were preparing for the worst,” he said. Even though it was a significant storm, you could say the damage is a small relief, because we know it could have been much worse. »
The hurricane Lee strengthened into a powerful post-tropical storm as it tracked north across the Atlantic Ocean toward the two provinces on Saturday. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm made landfall about 215 kilometers west of Halifax, on Nova Scotia’s Long Island, around 5 p.m. local time.
The storm is moving over the Bay of Fundy and is expected to make landfall again in southern New Brunswick later Saturday.
The storm subsides
The storm slowed its pace significantly from earlier in the day, moving at about 20 km/h, compared to 41 km/h reported earlier, Environment Canada said. Its maximum sustained winds had eased to around 110 km/h, compared to 130 Friday evening.
Some rain alerts in Nova Scotia had ended, as most of the province’s forecast showers had already subsided. But rain warnings remained in effect across much of New Brunswick, with Environment Canada warning some areas could see rain amounts of 100 millimetres.
Tropical storm warnings were in effect across much of the Maritimes and parts of Quebec. A hurricane watch was in place for Grand Manan Island and the coast of Charlotte County, New Brunswick, as well as most of the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, stretching from Digby County to ‘in Halifax County.
Power outages were reported in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick on Saturday morning as people were warned to prepare for damaging winds, heavy rain and flooding.
As of 6 p.m. local time, Nova Scotia Power reported more than 146,000 customers were without power. More than 25,000 people were without power in New Brunswick at the same time.
Jim Prime, an Environment Canada meteorologist, said winds would likely intensify over Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton and parts of northern New Brunswick as Lee moved in the region, but would not be as strong as the winds that hit the Nova Scotia coast earlier Saturday.
“I’m glad the storm is weakening,” Mr. Prime said. The storm is expected to move towards the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Sunday and bring “typical fall storm” conditions to northern Quebec and Newfoundland, he detailed.
High tide worries
On social media, people shared photos of roads near the town of Peggy’s Cove that were submerged by rising seawater. Others shared links to the live webcam of the Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, which captured huge waves crashing against the shore.
Videos from the town of Mahone Bay showed the ocean overflowed the shoreline, covering lawns and nearly engulfing docks.
Pam Lovelace, Halifax city councilor for an area that includes the famous Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, listed the damage the storm had already caused in the first half of the day. Some roads were underwater, others were blocked by fallen trees, and several boats along St. Margarets Bay Harbor were flooded.
She was still worried about what would happen when high tide returned Saturday evening. Anxiety was high and residents in his district were worried, especially since they had already faced devastating wildfires and disastrous flooding earlier this year.
“People are exhausted… It’s so much in such a short time,” Ms.me Lovelace. From a mental health perspective, we are asking people to check on their neighbors. »
In downtown Halifax, Mayor Mike Savage was also concerned about high tide. The rains have stopped, but winds of around 100 km/h are still expected in the evening, he noted during a mid-afternoon storm briefing.
“Now is not the time to watch the waves or drive unnecessarily on the roads,” Mr Savage said.
Just north of Yarmouth, in Cranberry Head, Tony Post and his wife Michelle had a sigh of relief. The storm did not cause the destruction many feared. They watched Lee roar Saturday from their newly built home, located atop a 17-meter cliff facing south toward the ocean.
“We were a little worried about what we might experience, given Thursday’s forecast,” said Post, who moved there with his wife from Ontario last year. “The wind conditions have deteriorated a little since then. It’s very noisy, but there was no damage.”
Mr Post said the huge waves were spectacular to watch, particularly when seals showed up to dive between the crashing waves.
“I just took a walk and everything is where it should be,” he said. The worst is behind us. »
The Canadian Hurricane Center (ECCC) has asked concerned citizens to prepare and monitor updates on the storm’s path.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convened the task force Friday to discuss the hurricane’s potential effects in Atlantic Canada and parts of eastern Quebec.
The group, made up of ministers and senior civil servants, meets only to discuss events with significant implications for Canada, such as the recent ports strike in British Columbia and the wildfires in British Columbia and the Territories. of the North-West.
With information from Sarah Smellie and Keith Doucette.