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Post-tropical storm Teddy makes landfall in Nova Scotia

MICHAEL MACDONALD, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Sep 23rd, 2020

The centre of post-tropical storm Teddy made landfall in eastern Nova Scotia this morning, delivering another round of punishing winds and heavy rain to a province that has already had plenty of both.

Meteorologists say the storm arrived near Sheet Harbour, about 115 kilometres east of Halifax, around 8 a.m. local time.

The large storm was churning out winds over 100 kilometres per hour as it neared the coastline.

On Hart Island, which is north of Canso at the eastern edge of the mainland, a peak gust of 81 kilometres per hour was recorded at 8 a.m.

Overnight, thousands of homes and businesses across Nova Scotia lost power.

By 9 a.m., about 9,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were still in the dark — a number that doubled in two hours.

Schools were closed, public transit in Halifax was suspended, many flights were cancelled but no major damage was reported _ aside from downed and damaged trees and power lines.

Citizens living in high-risk locations in the Sambro area, Peggy’s Cove and along the eastern shore were asked by Halifax Regional Municipality to make plans immediately to self-evacuate.

The storm was reclassified as a post-tropical storm overnight, but that change doesn’t mean Teddy has become a weakling. The designation refers to the structure of the storm, not its strength.

On Tuesday, the Canadian Hurricane Centre and provincial officials made it clear that the storm surge ahead of Teddy was their main concern, especially with 10-metre waves in the forecast.

Though residents were warned to stay away from the coast, photos on social media and on web cameras showed plenty of gawkers on the rocks at Peggy’s Cove and near the sprawling beaches at Lawrencetown, an area east of Halifax.

“Over the last number of years, we’ve lost a lot of people who have gone to the coast to watch those waves,” said Bob Robichaud, meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Halifax.

Officials in Halifax have suspended the city’s municipal bus and harbour ferry services. Garbage collection was also cancelled for today.

Nova Scotia Power has 300 crews standing by to handle power outages — 170 of them from other Atlantic provinces.

The storm was expected to track over eastern Nova Scotia, the eastern half of Prince Edward Island and southwestern Newfoundland.

Though residents of southwestern Newfoundland have been warned to watch for a storm surge later today, the wind and rain wasn’t expected to pose much of a threat.

Marine Atlantic, the Crown corporation that operates the ferry service linking Nova Scotia with Newfoundland, has cancelled all sailings across the Cabot Strait.

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