HALIFAX, N.S. – Hurricane Bill has brought a steady downpour to parts of Nova Scotia, along with curious onlookers hoping to catch a glimpse of crashing waves, as it continues its path into Atlantic Canada, the Canadian Hurricane Centre said Sunday.
Peter Bowyer, the centre’s program supervisor, said police have reported some people were lining up along picturesque Peggy’s Cove, N.S., a venture he warned against.
“We just want to emphasize the danger of the kind of waves that are coming into the coastline,” Bowyer told a news conference.
“If you want to enjoy them, enjoy them from a distance. Do not enjoy them up-close-and-personal because your enjoyment can end very quickly.”
The weakening Category 1 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometres per hour, has forced the cancellation of dozens of flights throughout the Atlantic region, including airports in Halifax and Moncton, N.B.
As of noon Atlantic time on Sunday, the eye of the storm was 150 kilometres south southwest of Halifax, the centre said. The storm was moving northeast at 54 km/h, a quick pace for a hurricane.
Power outages were reported across Nova Scotia’s southern shore, and some roadways near the province’s coastline were closed, the centre said.
In addition to flight cancellations, Marine Atlantic cancelled its ferry runs between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland for the day, and public beaches throughout Nova Scotia were closed.
The town of Lunenburg in southern Nova Scotia reported maximum winds reaching 80 km/h.
By noon, southern Nova Scotia had already experienced up to 60 millimetres of rain, while southern New Brunswick reported 20 to 40 mm.
In total, heavy rainfall ranging from 75 to 150 millimetres was expected over Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and southern Newfoundland.
The centre warned that localized flooding can be expected in some areas. Strong winds could down trees and utility lines, and rip loose cladding from buildings.
It also warned that heavy surf with waves up to 10 metres could hit the coasts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, eroding shorelines and damaging wharves.
Even as Bill rolled into the region, Bowyer was unable to say whether wind or rain presented the biggest threat to Atlantic Canadians.
“The biggest impact is completely depending on the location and the vulnerability,” he said.
“All we can say is, in general, what the weather conditions and the oceanic conditions will be. Those impacts will play out differently everywhere.”
Bowyer said the majority of the gale-force winds pushed into open water overnight.
The change was “not good news for our marine community, but it’s better news for those of us on the inland,” he said.
The storm is expected to make landfall in Newfoundland on Monday.
The Canadian Red Cross said it has crews on standby throughout the Atlantic region to deal with the aftermath of the storm.
The organization said municipalities typically request help in managing comfort centres if flooding or other damage forces residents from their homes.