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Cape Breton in the ‘direct impact zone’ for Hurricane Fiona, the mayor warned TT News

TT News

Provincial and municipal officials are urging Nova Scotians to take precautions ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Fiona, which is expected to bring heavy rain and gusts of up to 140 kilometers per hour.

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The storm is tracking north toward Atlantic Canada, expected to affect late Friday and Saturday as it becomes a tropical storm.

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Hurricane Fiona will intensify, bringing ‘hurricane force winds’ to Atlantic Canada

“This storm is going to affect our people,” Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said during a media briefing Thursday afternoon.

“It’s going to be slapped in our face, so we have to be prepared.”

John Lohr, the minister responsible for the provincial emergency management office, said the province’s response would be “around the clock” and “all hands on deck.”

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He said the province was already in talks with the federal government about possible post-storm assistance and the military had been given a “hud up”.

“Fiona will impact our province and has the potential to be very dangerous,” Lohr said.

“Time to get ready now before Fiona arrives tomorrow evening.”


Click to play video: 'Storm Fiona: NS minister offers safety tips ahead of storm, says could be 'historic'







Storm Fiona: NS minister offers safety tips ahead of storm that could be ‘historic’


Storm Fiona: NS minister offers safety tips ahead of storm that could be ‘historic’

He noted that the storm is expected to produce “dangerous rainfall rates and prolonged power outages,” along with severe and damaging wind gusts, high tides and storm surge.

In fact, Bob Robichaud, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, called the storm “historic” several times during the conference.

“It’s going to be a storm that everybody remembers, once it’s all said and done.”

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Cape Breton is ready for a direct hit

The storm is expected to land right over Cape Breton, and Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Amanda McDougall said her main concern is the causeway, which is the island’s only entry and exit point.

“Right now, Cape Breton as an island is in a direct impact area,” he said.

“We have been through similar incidents before but I fear not to this extent.”

The concern for certain types of homes, including RVs and older buildings, is so great that the municipality’s emergency services team is discussing possible pre-storm shelters.

“With the amount of wind that is predicted, there is a very high risk of wind damage to buildings like this,” McDougall said.

He said residents would be contacted in the coming hours about any decision about the shelters.

Power outages ‘almost guaranteed’

Nova Scotia Power said more than 800 people are being evacuated ahead of the storm.

The utility has also contacted NB Power in New Brunswick and the American counterpart to see if they would be able to help if needed.

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read more:

Hurricane Fiona – Nova Scotia list of cancellations as the storm prepares

“We are not taking any shortcuts in terms of resources. We want to be prepared for the high wind that we’re seeing in the forecast right now,” said Dave Pickles, chief operating officer of Nova Scotia Power.

He said outages are “almost guaranteed” and acknowledged that this time of year is particularly difficult for hurricane response.

“The trees are in full bloom and we talk about them being sails: they catch the wind. The ground is a bit soft so there is more risk in fallen trees,” he explained.

He said teams will respond to outages as quickly as it’s safe to do so, noting that they “usually” like to see winds below 80 km/h before moving line trucks.

Be safe and take care of others

Officials urged residents to take appropriate precautions — such as securing property and preparing emergency kits with three days’ worth of food, water and clothing.

People are also advised to check on neighbors.

“You should be prepared for downed trees, extended power outages and localized flooding conditions,” Savage said.

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Both he and McDougal reminded storm watchers to stay home and stay away from waters where rapid surges are expected.

“During a hurricane, you need to find a safe place and you need to stay there,” McDougal said.

“It’s going to be incredibly, incredibly dangerous to get out there to watch and be involved in this storm.”


Click to play video: 'Emergency shelters to open in Halifax ahead of Hurricane Fiona'







Emergency shelter to open in Halifax ahead of Hurricane Fiona


Emergency shelter to open in Halifax ahead of Hurricane Fiona

Savage said Halifax Ground Search and Rescue will conduct a well-being check on any unhoused residents who choose not to go to one of the city’s emergency shelters.

One shelter will be set up at the Dartmouth East Community Center, with room for 60 people, and another will be set up in Lower Sackville. Transportation and food will be provided.

The Halifax Regional Municipality will also have four evacuation centres, which will open at 8pm on Friday.

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They will remain open until the storm passes or as needed. People can visit the centers at any time during the storm, but should only travel when it is safe to do so.

The centers are:

  • Canada Games Centre, 26 Thomas Riddle Drive, Halifax
  • Acadia Center, 636 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville
  • St Margaret’s Centre, 12 Westwood Blvd, Upper Tentlan
  • Musquodoboit Harbor Community Center, 7900 Highway 7, Musquodoboit Harbor

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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