September 4, 2010

Hurricane Earl blows into Nova Scotia

CANADA - As we write this CBC Radio (Atlantic) is tracking calls from listeners as Hurricane Earl makes landfall in Nova Scotia and moves towards Halifax. Trees and power lines are down, cars are hydroplaning on the highways and even a truck carrying 180,000 across the causeway was being pushed around by winds reaching up to 120 kmh.

No longer technically a hurricane but a category 1 tropical storm, the windspeeds and torrential rainfall are nevertheless expected to wallop Nova Scotia and the Canadian Maritimes with significant damage.

Heavy sheets of rain and strong gusts have raised concerns about the public's safety as some people head out to check out the strong winds and high waves. Not much we can do about the fools except warn them about their stupidity. In past years there has been a number of fatalities involving people who were swept off the rocks and into the churning seas.

According to Nova Scotia Power more than 110,000 customers are without power, but power is expected to be restored within hours. Farmers and orchard growers meanwhile are fretting about their crops (ie. apples) which will be damaged by the storm.

There are also a slew of flight cancellations at airports across Atlantic Canada as people trying to flee the storm are waiting out delays.

Hurricanes hitting Atlantic Canada are not unheard of, but global warming in recent years in recent years has been estimated to increase the intensity of such storms by up to 40%.

CBC Radio is warning people to stay at home for awhile after the storm passes because roads and beaches won't really be safe yet. "Stay out of the way, stay safe."

Meanwhile one radio caller says her daughter and a friend are going outside with shampoo to have "a shower" in the backyard.

See Also: Hurricanes in Europe?

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