Dorian on pace to hit Halifax and Nova Scotia: Here’s what you need to know


As hurricane Dorian approaches Atlantic Canada, officials are warning residents to be proactive ahead of the storm’s arrival.

As of Friday morning, the Category 2 storm has knocked out power to more than 200,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and is poised to continue its trek North.

Where and when is Dorian expected to hit Canada?

Linda Libby, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, told the Canadian Press it’s not clear if the storm will transition from tropical to post-tropical by the time it reaches Quebec City and parts of Atlantic Canada on Saturday.

She adds that it’s better to be prepared and underwhelmed by the storm than under-prepared and incapable of dealing with the impact once it occurs.

“Even in a prepared situation, Mother Nature does have the capacity to overwhelm us,” Libby said. “So being prepared to deal with what does occur is really the best approach to these storms.”

The Canadian Hurricane Centre also adds that the most likely path would see Dorian pass just south of the Maritimes on Saturday, pushing through eastern Nova Scotia later in the day.

Parts of Atlantic Canada should prepare for a potential hurricane hit from Dorian this weekend.

Anthony Farnell/Globla News

Dorian could also impact regions in Quebec:

In Quebec, the Îles-de-la-Madeleine is under tropical storm watch.

Environment Canada warns strong wind gusts reaching 90 km/h are possible over the region beginning Saturday afternoon.

What is the impact expected to be?

The forecast calls for severe winds and rainfall to have major impacts for southeastern New Brunswick, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, western Newfoundland and Quebec’s Lower North Shore.

The highest amounts of rain are likely for Nova Scotia and the Gulf of St. Lawrence region, with the possibility of as much as 100 millimetres to the north and west of Dorian.

Dorian makes landfall over Cape Hatteras, N.C., as a category 1 hurricane

“It is likely that the storm will have more impact along the southern shore of Nova Scotia.  In this area, I see near Lockeport the high tide near the end of the day on Sept. 7 is approximately 1.5 feet higher than the high tide near the end of the day on Sept. 6.  I suspect this is an indication of the storm surge along this area,” said Rick Leuttich, the director of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences.

Forecasters also warned of potential tree damage in certain areas of Atlantic Canada, in particular Nova Scotia and the Gulf of St. Lawrence region, where trees aren’t as firmly rooted as they are when the ground is frozen in the winter. Tree damage, Libby said, could potentially lead to more power outages.

The storm will likely make landfall in Halifax or just east of Halifax, and Environment Canada representative said in a briefing.

In Îles-de-la-Madeleine, the storm is expected to bring up to 150 millimetres of rain to the area.

The region could also face flooding on Saturday evening due to storm surges.

A tropical cyclone statement has also been issued for the Anticosti, Blanc-Sablon and Chevery areas. Powerful winds and heavy rain are expected for parts of Quebec’s Lower North Shore.

How are provinces preparing?

Nova Scotia Power said it was mobilizing close to 1,000 personnel and deploying resources in preparation for the storm. In addition, an emergency operations centre will be set up in the province by noon on Friday.

“Our preparations include bringing in several hundred power line technicians from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec,” the utility’s president and CEO Karen Hutt said in a news release.

“As well, we will have forestry crews, planners, damage assessors, engineers, supervisors, communication experts and customer care representatives at the ready.”

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Officials say everyone in affected areas should have enough food, water, medication and supplies for at least 72 hours.

— With files from the Canadian Press and Kalina Laframboise

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