Rain breaks Maritime dry spell
Published Tuesday, July 24, 2012 6:31PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 24, 2012 6:43PM ADT
After weeks of warm, dry, sunny weather, Maritimers finally felt the rain Tuesday.
While most were relieved to see the dry spell end, the rain did cause some chaos.
Heavy rain began in Saint John in the morning. Only minutes after the skies opened up, a transport truck jack-knifed onto the median bringing the Harbour Bridge to a standstill during rush hour.
“It was just a few minutes after it started to rain,” says Cst. Trevor Jones of the Saint John Police. “Probably something slippery on the surface, you know, under the surface of the tires, and contact with the pavement concrete.”
The rain was much lighter in Moncton and Halifax, but heavier in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley.
That was good news for farmers in the region who are feeling the effects of a dry summer.
“On a normal year you can see the water level up where it would normally be, probably a foot higher than what it is now,” says farmer Victor Oulton. “That’s how much the water table has gone down in the last two weeks.”
The Oultons have been okay without the rain so far, but the situation could get desperate.
“If we don’t get some significant moisture in the next week or so, we’re probably going to have to start feeding our winter feed, because our pastures are drying up, so that’s kind of one of our biggest concerns right now,” says Oulton.
His son, Wyatt, had to sacrifice his 4H show.
“To keep water in the barn for the cattle we just had to choose not to wash them and take them to show,” says Wyatt.
Firefighters are watching the rain closely.
“One thing we know after a long dry spell, if we get a sudden onset of heavy rain, much of that rain will be lost,” Halifax Regional Fire Divisional Chief Dave Meldrum tells CTV News. “It won’t penetrate into the ground and into the fuels, so a longer, slower rain – a number of rainy days – would actually be good news for us.”
A burn ban has been in place for two weeks. Fire officials aren’t sure yet if Tuesday’s weather will be enough to lift it.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell