MONTREAL (AFP) – Resilient Tropical Storm Earl raked over eastern Canada Saturday, leaving nearly one million people without power, the last gasp of what was once a monster storm that menaced the US East Coast but left it largely undamaged.
The center of the storm made landfall as a hurricane in southern Nova Scotia shortly after 11:00 am (1400 GMT), but the Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC) later said its strength steadily fell as it buffeted the craggy coastline with winds up to 102 kilometers (63 miles) per hour.
Although weakened to a tropical storm over land, Earl still pounded Halifax, the region’s largest city, with high winds and rain.
By 2:30 pm (1830 GMT), some 210,000 homes and 940,000 people in the region were without power, Nova Scotia Power said.
The weather system already lost some steam as it roared up the US eastern seaboard overnight, when it dropped to tropical storm strength.
CHC meteorologist John Parker said wind speeds of up to 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour were registered as the storm made landfall, just above the marker for hurricane strength winds of 119 kilometers (74 miles) per hour.
Greater Moncton International Airport canceled all flights Saturday, and Halifax Stanfield International Airport was under partial operation.
Earlier this week, Earl lashed several hundred kilometers (miles) of the US East Coast seaboard with heavy rains and strong winds, disrupting holiday plans for millions and prompting evacuations in North Carolina.
It had also prompted hurricane warnings in the northeastern US state of Massachusetts, notably its vacation destinations including Cape Cod and the tiny islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
But while residents battened down the hatches, the storm dealt the region only a glancing blow.