'Ready and on high alert': Cape Breton prepares for Hurricane Teddy
SYDNEY, N.S. -- It was all hands on deck along the Mira River in Cape Breton on Sunday as concerned residents secured their properties and rushed to prepare for Hurricane Teddy.
For residents like Donnie Wilson, concerns are great.
"I've seen how far the water can come up," says Wilson. "It comes up as far as the beach house there – so it can do a lot of damage pretty quickly."
Wilson, and his son-in-law, Ernie Dalton, have seen the damage a hurricane can do, especially when it comes to their dock.
"Over the years, we've had problems with losing pieces of our wharf," says Dalton, who says staying ahead of the storm by preparing is crucial.
Nearby on the river, a mandatory order is in place at the Mira Boat Club for all owners to remove their vessels from the docks.
For boat owner Tanya MacLeod, her main concern is getting her pontoon boat on dry land.
"We don't want our boat out in the middle of the Mira River," says MacLeod. "We want to get it in safe and sound."
On Sunday, the Canadian Hurricane Centre said Cape Breton could take a direct hit from Hurricane Teddy – with the heaviest of rain arriving Tuesday evening, and the strongest winds to the right of the track.
"We expect the track to go through either eastern parts of Nova Scotia, before heading to Newfoundland, or potentially even tracking offshore of Nova Scotia," says Canadian Hurricane Centre meteorologist Bob Robichaud. "So right now, the track extends to west of Halifax to just offshore of Cape Breton."
Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Cecil Clarke says he's not taking any chances and knows how destructive a hurricane can be. In 2016, over 220 mm of rain fell in the Sydney area from the remnants of a hurricane – destroying more than a dozen homes.
"CBRM officials are all ready and on high alert – from police, EMO, to fire, to public works," says Clarke. "If they [hurricane officials] say it's downgraded to a tropical storm, so was Dorian and it had very large impacts on our province and our communities. So again, we have to be ready."
Meanwhile, Clarke says CBRM will be providing public updates via social media beginning Monday morning.