UPDATE: Newfoundland may be spared effects of Hurricane Arthur

Deana Stokes Sullivan
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It looks like Newfoundland will be spared from severe effects of Hurricane Arthur when it passes through Atlantic Canada as a post-tropical storm this weekend.

In a media technical briefing this afternoon, meteorologists with Environment Canada's Canadian Hurricane Centre said New Brunswick is expected to be hit with the highest amounts of heavy rain from the storm, up to 150 ml in some areas, and Nova Scotia will experience the highest winds, with more than 100 km/h gusts expected over southwestern Nova Scotia.

Meteorologist Bob Robichaud said Arthur is now about 530 km southwest of Massachusetts, with maximum wind speeds of 150 km/h. Arthur is currently a Category 1 hurricane, moving northeast at about 40 km/h.

Robichaud said Arthur is expected to continue to track into the Maritimes tonight and make landfall in Nova Scotia early Saturday.

Chris Fogerty, program manager with the Canadian Hurricane Centre, said the heavy rainfall in New Brunswick could cause flooding and wash out some roads.

Fogerty said Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island won't have as much rainfall and the impact of Arthur on Newfoundland won't be as extreme as the other Atlantic provinces.

Fogerty said the storm will bring some gusty winds to Newfoundland's west coast and the Wreck House area could see gale-force winds, but nothing as intense as in the Maritimes. The Avalon Peninsula, being the furthest from the track, is expected to experience some gale force winds and brief heavy downpours of rain on Sunday.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre's latest track map shows Arthur approaching Newfoundland's southwest coast as a post tropical storm around 3 a.m. Sunday with wind speeds of about 85 km/h and weakening as it tracks up the west coast and Northern Peninsula throughout Sunday and into Monday morning.

Tips for preparing for hurricane season

Meanwhile, with the hurricane season getting off to an early start this year, Royal and Sun Alliance Co. of Canada (RSA), has put together some emergency preparedness tips.

Here are some things you can do before a hurricane:

• Be sure to trim back dead or weak branches from trees located near your home, outbuildings, parked or stored vehicles, and power lines;

•  Store away any loose gardening tools, lawn furniture and toys and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside. Make sure that doors on garden tool sheds are secured and vehicles and other valuables are safely stored away in the garage;

•  If you have a boat, make sure that it is properly moored;

• Compile an emergency preparedness kit and store it in an easily accessible area of your home.  Include battery-powered or wind-up flashlights, and radios, extra batteries, bottled water and non-perishable food;

• Keep in mind most cordless phones will not work in a power outage. Ensure you have a telephone that does not require electricity to function;

• Fill the gas tank of your car in case of emergencies;

• If your home is located in a low-lying area near the coast, move inland and to a higher elevation if possible;

• If you have a submersible pump, make sure it is in proper working condition as ground water always increases during storms;

• Ensure you have a sufficient supply of charcoal or propane for your barbecue, so that you are able to cook and heat food for meals. Remember never to operate your barbecue from inside your home or garage.

 

During a hurricane, RSA offers the following tips:

• Stay indoors unless directed otherwise by the appropriate authorities;

• Stay informed – listen to your local radio or television station for storm updates;

• Remain indoors and away from windows and skylights;

• Avoid using your land line as it is not safe. Use your cellular phone to keep in contact with friends, family or neighbours. Limit phone calls to ensure your battery life will last the duration of the storm.

•••

 (Earlier story)

 By The Telegram and The Associated Press

Hurricane Arthur weakening as it tracks toward Atlantic Canada

Hurricane Arthur has weakened to a Category 1 storm in the Atlantic after bringing flooding and power outages to North Carolina’s Outer Banks overnight.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Arthur’s maximum sustained winds have decreased to 144 km/h with additional weakening expected.

The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season has upended plans along the East Coast for America’s Independence Day.

Meanwhile, a new tropical storm warning was issued for Nova Scotia, where Arthur is expected to head as it moves northeast.

Environment Canada says landfall of Arthur is forecast to occur in southwestern Nova Scotia Saturday morning as a strong storm at, or near, hurricane strength. It's forecast to become a post-tropical storm as it tracks across Nova Scotia to lie in the Southern Gulf of St Lawrence Saturday night.

The storm is expected to affect Newfoundland Sunday, as a post-tropical storm, bringing wind and rain.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Digby to Yarmouth to Halifax counties. Tropical storm watches are in effect for the remainder of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and portions of Southern and Eastern New Brunswick.

Environment Canada is forecasting strong winds on Saturday for much of the southern Maritimes with the strongest winds forecast to gust to 100 km/h over southwestern Nova Scotia. Elsewhere over portions of the southern Maritimes, winds gusting to 80 or 90 km/h are expected.

Heavy rainfall is forecast for all of New Brunswick and the Gaspé region of Quebec where rainfall warnings are in effect. Over these regions general amounts of 50 to 100 millimetres are likely with a good probability of higher amounts in some localities.

Heavy rainfall is also forecast for regions adjacent to the Gulf of St Lawrence, including Anticosti Island, lower Quebec Northshore and Northern Prince Edward Island where Environment Canada says rainfall warnings may be issued sometime today.

The rainfall rates are of particular concern since they could exceed 15 millimetres per hour during a period of several hours.

Over the southern Maritimes and Newfoundland, rainfall amounts are expected to be less. However, the weather office says locally heavy downpours are likely over some areas.

Organizations: Environment Canada, U.S. National Hurricane Center

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada, Southern Maritimes Newfoundland Quebec Yarmouth Halifax Prince Edward Island New Brunswick Gaspé Anticosti Island Northern Prince Edward Island

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