- Port aux Basques, which has a population of about 4,000 people, is surrounded by hilly terrain.
A massive, slow-moving storm that pounded parts of the Maritimes with 100-kilometer-per-hour gusts and driving rain has engulfed southwestern Newfoundland, with residents warned that up to 300 millimeters of rain could inundate the area by Thursday night.
“This thing is pumping moisture from the Caribbean up to the northern part of Quebec and Labrador,” said Bob Robichaud, an Environment Canada senior meteorologist, on Tuesday.
“If (southwestern Newfoundland) receives amounts in the (250-300 millimeter) ballpark over a mountainous area, that water will be channeled down the mountain, and you’re almost certain to have some sort of flooding or washout issues.” As a result, environment Canada has appeared a rainfall warning for the Port aux Basques area, predicting 400 mm of rain over higher terrain and gusts of up to 120 km/h. During November, the town receives an average of 160 mm of rain.
“Torrential downpours with extreme rainfall totals are expected (Tuesday) and Wednesday,” the bulletin says. “Flooding will have long-term repercussions, including washouts and debris on roads. Those living in low-lying areas or valleys should be prepared to relocate to higher ground in advance of rapidly rising water.”
When Brian Button, mayor of Port aux Basques, saw the latest forecast, he thought it was a typo. “one person asked me what the difference is between a winter storm and a water storm, and I’d take a winter storm any day,” said Button, whose town is on Newfoundland’s southwestern tip. “If the water becomes clogged, it will find a way to escape. Unfortunately, it will leave a trail of destruction in its midst.”
“I’m sure we’ll be inundated with phone calls if we have some localized flooding and some washouts,” Button said in an interview Tuesday. “However, there are so many we can get to with the equipment and resources we have.” He is urging residents who are accustomed to severe weather to take the latest warnings seriously.
Earlier on Tuesday, the storm knocked out power to over 12,000 Nova Scotia homes and businesses. “Heavy downpours can cause flash waves also water pooling on roads,” Environment Canada said in a weather warning issued for eastern Nova Scotia on Tuesday afternoon.
“Localized flooding is possible in low-lying areas. Avoid driving through puddles on the road. A vehicle or a person can be pushed aside by even shallow, fast-moving water across a road.” Rainfall also wind information were in effect for Prince Edward Island, the majority of Nova Scotia, western Newfoundland, Iles-de-la-Madeleine, and Quebec’s north shore.
“There will be more rain,” said Jason Mew, a spokesman for Nova Scotia’s Emergency Management Office, in an interview Tuesday. “However, we haven’t received any requests for help.”
Source: CTV News
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