Post-Tropical Storm Lee officially made landfall on Long Island, NS, with maximum sustained winds around 110 km/h.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Lee finally passed over Nova Scotia shortly after 4 p.m. AT after spending Saturday afternoon hugging the coast near Yarmouth.
CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon says the storm will continue to move north toward the Bay of Fundy before making a second landfall in New Brunswick tonight.
As the storm passes into New Brunswick, other parts of the region will continue to feel its effects.
“Winds will intensify tonight and continue [to gust] overnight in eastern areas such as Cape Breton and PEI,” he said.
Meanwhile, in western Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, winds will begin to die down toward the end of Saturday and overnight, Snoddon said.
It will also be important to watch for possible storm surge along the coast, Snoddon said.
Thousands of homes across mainland Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have been without power for hours, even as strong, gusty winds are expected to continue into the evening. At the height of Saturday’s outages, almost a third of Nova Scotia Power customers were without power.
Lee upgraded from a Category 1 hurricane to a post-tropical storm early Saturday.
Maximum wind gusts of 117 km/h were recorded at the Halifax airport, while gusts of 90 to 110 km/h and 30 to 60 millimeters of rain were recorded in southwestern Nova Scotia in that same area.
Nova Scotia RCMP are asking people to stay off the roads as water, downed trees and utility lines are creating hazards along the province’s Atlantic coast. Police say people who drive to watch the waves are putting themselves and lifeguards at risk.
In the Halifax Regional Municipality, Mayor Mike Savage said several roads are currently blocked due to seawater and debris, washed out sewers, downed trees and power lines.
Many homeless people living in encampments across the city have been moved to shelters set up at St. Matthew’s Church, the Captain William Spry Community Center and the Beacon House in Lower Sackville, Savage said during a news conference Saturday afternoon .
He is urging people to stay home and weather the storm safely.
“We’ve seen images of people near the boardwalk, and it’s unnecessary and dangerous,” the mayor said. “The worst of the storm hasn’t hit us yet.”
120,000 people without electricity in NS
Starting at 11 pm on Saturday, more than 120,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were left without power, with the highest concentration in the Halifax area, the province’s south coast and the Annapolis Valley. Earlier in the day, more than 160,000 power outages were reported.
Meanwhile, in New Brunswick, NB Power Outage Map lists more than 15,000 customers without power.
In a statement Saturday morning, Nova Scotia Power said the outages are the result of downed trees and strong winds of up to 100 km/h in the western part of the province and up to 90 km/h in downtown Halifax. .
NB Power had a team of 700 people on standby to help with power outages. Nova Scotia Power said Digby, Shelburne and Yarmouth were the areas of greatest concern, so crews were sent there ahead of the storm.
Maritime Electric, which provides power to PEI, said it had more than 100 people on its team waiting to respond.
Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood said her city was bracing for impact.
“I think people have battened down the hatches,” he told Breaking: Saturday morning.
However, many people in the area work in fishing and some braved the morning wind to go down to the dock and check on their properties.
“We don’t want anyone on the streets, but this is the mainstay, the fishery. It’s down there and it’s probably the most dangerous territory and… they have to control their livelihoods.”
The biggest concern, Mood said, is how the pier will withstand potential storm surges.
He added that the fire hall is open to anyone who needs shelter on Saturday.
Some parts of Nova Scotia are dealing with deteriorating cell service.
Cellular service was affected for some
Bell, a major cellular service provider, confirmed in an email that it is seeing some “wireless congestion” in areas where there are widespread power outages.
Eastlink, Rogers and Telus have reported similar problems. There is no estimated restoration time.
A motorist was injured when a pine tree fell on his vehicle while driving toward Blockhouse, NS.
Motorist injured by falling tree
Blockhouse Fire Chief William Young said his injuries were not life-threatening.
“They were heading to work and a tree fell across the road at the same time they were coming,” Young said.
“Luckily they were in the far lane heading towards Blockhouse from Cornwall and he caught the smaller part of the tree rather than the large trunk.”
Young said the man was shocked and in pain. EHS staff examined him and transported him to the hospital.
All Northumberland Ferries sailings between Wood Islands, PEI and Caribou, NS, on Saturdays They are cancelled.
Bay Ferries has canceled its Saturday and Sunday crossings between Bar Harbor, Maine and Yarmouth.
Bay Ferries also has Saturday crossings canceled between Digby, NS and Saint John.
Atlantic Ocean has rescheduled its Saturday crossings between North Sydney, NS and Port Aux Basque, NL, through Sunday, weather permitting.
Many flights in and out of the region have been canceled. Anyone planning to travel should check the status of their flight with their airline.
Halifax Transit announced Saturday morning that the Macdonald and MacKay bridges had been closed to high-sided vehicles and that buses would be rerouted as necessary. Ferry operations were suspended as of 10:15 a.m.
All libraries, municipal parks and recreation centers have also been closed.
In a social media post Friday night, Public Safety Canada advised people to avoid non-essential travel and conserve their phone battery as much as possible during the storm.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority announced several closures for Saturday. They include:
- Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital Emergency Department in Lunenburg.
- Mobile primary care clinic at the Cobequid community health center.
- Blood collection from St. Margarets Bay in Upper Tantallon. Patients with booked appointments can come to Bayers Road Blood Collection, 7071 Bayers Road, Suite 141 for his appointment.