'Not the time to watch the waves': Hurricane Teddy moves closer to the Maritimes
HALIFAX -- As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, Teddy has been declared a post-tropical storm by the National Hurricane Centre, as the storm is already bringing heavy rain, strong winds and pounding waves to the region.
According to CTV Atlantic chief meteorologist Kalin Mitchell, landfall will be between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., in the vicinity of Sheet Harbour in eastern Halifax County.
Mitchell expects heavy rain falling to the north and west of that path, with stronger south/southeast wind expected to the east of the landfall point and near coastal gusts 90-110 km/h.
Sightseers are being urged to stay away from beaches and other coastal areas due to the threat of storm surge and high waves, which could reach 10 metres in some areas.
“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 -- early Tuesday evening.
The Halifax Regional Municipality was also asking residents to stay away from the Halifax and Dartmouth waterfronts.
SOME RESIDENTS ASKED TO EVACUATE HOMES
Residents living along the coast in some Halifax-area communities are being urged to evacuate their homes due to the risk of high storm surges resulting from Hurricane Teddy.
The Halifax Regional Municipality said citizens living in high-risk areas in the Sambro area, Peggy’s Cove, and along the Eastern Shore should make plans to immediately self-evacuate their homes.
While evacuation is encouraged, it is not mandatory.
Meanwhile, the road to Peggy’s Cove, Lawrencetown Road, and Highway 207 from Seaforth and Chezzetcook are closed to non-residents.
Power outages are being reported across the Maritimes, as post-tropical storm Teddy begins to touch down in Nova Scotia.
As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, Nova Scotia Power was reporting 8,878 customers without power, and 54 active outages.
The largest outages are located in southwest N.S., with 49 outages in Yarmouth, Digby and Annapolis counties currently affecting over 8,500 customers. The Nova Scotia Power website currently gives an estimated time of restoration of either 2:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. Thursday.
As of the same time, Maritime Electric on Prince Edward Island was reporting that 9 customers had lost power.
Nova Scotia Power has mobilized over 300 crews from within Atlantic Canada to respond to the storm, with workers positioned from Yarmouth to Cape Breton.
The utility says crews will begin to restore power when conditions are considered safe.
CLOSURES AND CANCELLATIONS
The wild weather prompted a number of closures and cancellations in Nova Scotia, where many schools dismissed students early as a precaution.
Provincial beaches along the south and eastern shores closed at noon, along with a number of provincial campgrounds and parks.
The storm is also affecting transportation and travel. The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has cancelled all departing and arriving flights scheduled for Tuesday while Northumberland Ferries and Marine Atlantic have cancelled ferry service.
In Halifax, ferry service was suspended Tuesday afternoon and transit service shut down at 7 p.m. Service is expected to resume no earlier than noon Wednesday.
WEATHER WARNINGS IN EFFECT
There are a number of weather warnings and watches in effect as Hurricane Teddy approaches the Maritimes.
Environment Canada has issued rainfall warnings for most of Nova Scotia. Wind warnings are also in effect in some areas, along with storm surge and tropical storm warnings.
Tropical cyclone statements are in effect for all of Nova Scotia.
Rainfall warnings, tropical storm watches and tropical cyclone statements have been issued for Prince Edward Island.
Moncton and southeast New Brunswick are under rainfall warnings.
TEDDY EXPECTED TO HIT AS POST-TROPICAL STORM
CTV Atlantic’s chief meteorologist, Kalin Mitchell, says Hurricane Teddy regained Category 2 strength overnight. However, it is expected to hit the Maritimes as a post-tropical storm on Wednesday, with impacts felt on Tuesday.
“It is showing signs of transitioning to a post-tropical storm, including an increase in size and a more asymmetrical shape,” explained Mitchell.
“Teddy is forecast to enter the marine waters of the Maritimes as a Category 1 hurricane then complete a transition to a post-tropical storm as it approaches the eastern Atlantic coastline of Nova Scotia Wednesday morning.”
Mitchell said weather conditions will continue to deteriorate across the Maritimes Tuesday evening.
“Tropical storm conditions are forecast for the Atlantic coastline of Nova Scotia Tuesday afternoon, evening and night.”
Mitchell said some inland communities could see wind gusts as high as 60 km/h to 80 km/h while coastal communities could see wind gusts of 80 km/h to 100 km/h.