Maritimers weather unseasonal December storm
HALIFAX -- It may not be a winter wonderland, but much of the Maritimes weathered stormy conditions on Saturday as heavy rainfall and intense winds arrived in the region. Causing poor road conditions and prompting some local businesses to scramble to change plans 11 days before Christmas, it’s an unseasonal storm presenting many challenges – which aren’t set to let up until Sunday.
On Friday, Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning for Nova Scotia, calling for between 40 and 70 millimetres of rain. Additionally, warnings were also issued for New Brunswick with between 30 and 70 millimetres of rain expected in the southern region, and 20-40 millimetres elsewhere in the province.
The excessive precipitation caused many clogged storm drains – leading to localized flooding and tricky driving on some Halifax streets.
The less-than-ideal weather also saw the closure of a popular holiday market located near a Superstore location on Portland Street, which saw over 5,000 visitors the previous weekend.
"With the 50 millimetres of rain they were calling for, we just thought, for everyone's safety, that we'd bring everything inside so we could offer folks a better shopping experience inside the store," says store manager, Jason Ernst.
However, market-goers’ holiday spirits persisted despite the storm’s damp and windy weather causing them to take their fun indoors.
"They took it inside and we had samples and the music's playing and everyone's in a good mood regardless of the weather,” says shopper, Jackie Thomas. “So, it's all good."
Meanwhile, on Spring Garden Road, the season of giving continued without the wintery charm of snow-dusted streets as residents took to the streets raising money for the Salvation Army.
"We come out every Friday night and Saturday for about five or six weeks,” says Halifax resident, Derek Estabrooks. “It's a good thing to do – people need money this time of year, whether it's snowing out or pouring rain."
"It's a little bit slower than usual, but there's still some people out and people are being generous – so that's great to see," says Halifax resident, John Cameron.
Meanwhile, others chose to spend the day working from the comfort of their own home.
"We had some plans today to re-fit a bathtub into our bathroom,” says market goer, Evan Court. “So that's what we're going to be doing today – rain won't bother us with that one bit."
And the weather conditions also affected the Emera Oval in Halifax – to the detriment of eager ice skaters. Unfortunately, conditions were much different from December 14, 2019, when the Emera Oval held its opening day for skaters. Rather than hard and cold ice, the skating track contended with flooding and huge puddles and will not open until Thursday.
Meanwhile, the rain also led to many transportation closures and cancellations across the Maritimes. Saturday and Sunday’s Northumberland Ferry Crossing from Digby to Saint John, were both cancelled, while the Confederation Bridge placed restrictions on certain vehicles, including trucks, buses and motorcycles due to high winds.
As of Saturday afternoon, rainfall warnings were in effect for most of the Maritimes.