'It's tempting fate': Wave-watchers can't resist the lure of hurricane swells
HALIFAX -- Quite a few people spent some time Tuesday and Wednesday watching the ocean and the dramatic waves churned up by post-tropical storm Teddy.
That compulsion to watch the waves is something that had officials concerned during the height of the storm. They urged sightseers to stay away from beaches and other coastal areas due to the threat of storm surge and high waves.
“The storm surge could be the most dangerous part of this storm. This is not the time to watch the waves crashing. Stay away from the shorelines and the rocks along the coast," said Chuck Porter, the minister responsible for Nova Scotia's Emergency Management Office, during a news conference Tuesday.
"I know people are attracted to the shoreline, they love to watch the waves, I just want to caution folks, please, stay back. Remember, if you get trapped out there, somebody has to try and come to rescue you, so we are putting people in jeopardy unnecessarily by doing such things."
Bob Robichaud, a meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Halifax, echoed Porter’s advice.
“Over the last number of years we’ve lost a lot of people who have gone to the coastline to watch those waves and that’s what we need to avoid," said Robichaud.
Despite the warnings, a number of people stopped at Peggy’s Cove -- a popular tourism spot known for both its beauty and its dangerous black rocks – Tuesday and Wednesday.
Barricades were placed on the road to Peggy's Cove lighthouse to keep sightseers off the rocks, but that meant wave-watchers took in the view from elsewhere.
Sister Vivian Mancini comes to Peggy's Cove every day, but after a storm, it’s special.
"Looking at this is prayer, just the power of God, the wonder," Mancini said. "I love it here."
But when it comes to being too close, she agrees with officials.
"You know, it’s just tempting fate," she said.
At the height of the storm, emergency officials said too many were ‘tempting fate’ at the popular tourist destination and at other coastal locations throughout the province.
That prompted similar barricades at Lawrencetown Beach.
"People were moving roadblocks to get into the area, so we had to dispatch RCMP," said Erica Fleck, the division chief of emergency management for Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency.
"We had to ask them to go out there and we had to ask fire trucks and crews to go out there. We were very lucky that nobody was injured or killed."
A spokesperson for the Nova Scotia RCMP says officers did not hand out any fines in relation to the storm.