HRM emergency management officials issue voluntary evacuation for some coastal areas

Emergency officials say they are better prepared following their experience with hurricane Juan
Hurricane Dorian is trudging its way towards Nova Scotia where most of the province is under a hurricane warning

The Canadian Hurricane Centre has issued a hurricane warning for the majority of Nova Scotia and the approaching storm is bringing back memories of hurricane Juan.

Hurricane Juan was a deadly storm that struck on Sept. 29, 2003, bringing major destruction to Halifax

Emergency officials say they’ve learned a lot from hurricane Juan — which means they feel better prepared for Dorian.

READ MORE: A look back at Hurricane Juan 14 years after it tore through Atlantic Canada

The Halifax Regional Municipality is requesting residents that live along the shoreline of the municipality to consider other accommodations until hurricane Dorian exits the region.

Citizens living in high-risk areas like Peggy’s Cove, along the Eastern Shore and in particular the Sambro area are being asked to make plans immediately to self-evacuate. Citizens are encouraged to be in alternative locations prior to the arrival of the storm.

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“The latest update we received from Environment Canada shows we’re expecting winds at 150 to 160 kilometres and likely sustained around 140 kilometres,” said Erica Fleck, chief emergency manager with HRM.

With heavy rains and storm surges, waves can be expected to reach as high 50 feet, prompting the voluntary evacuations. To accommodate, the HRM will open three emergency centres that will be operated by the Canadian Red Cross.

The emergency shelters will be set up at The Canada Games Centre, Dartmouth East Community Centre and the St. Margarets Centre, opening at noon on Saturday.

READ MORE: Dorian on pace to hit Halifax and Nova Scotia: Here’s what you need to know

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The Canadian Hurricane Centre had a clear message Friday: be prepared and don’t take hurricane Dorian lightly.

The storm will make landfall Saturday and likely cause damage from high winds and heavy rain.

WATCH (Sept. 6, 2019): New Brunswick emergency officials urge public to heed warnings as hurricane Dorian bears down

New Brunswick emergency officials urge public to heed warnings as hurricane Dorian bears down
New Brunswick emergency officials urge public to heed warnings as hurricane Dorian bears down

“What we should expect is things like uprooted trees, broken trees and that may result in extended power outages,” said Bob Robichaud, warning preparedness meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Centre. “Those are all things that happen when we get these kinds of conditions.”

Robichaud said Juan, which was deadly and devastating, was a Category 2 hurricane and Dorian is tracking as a Category 1, but its sheer size could impact a greater area.

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“The strongest winds that we saw with Juan were 176 km/h here at McNabb’s Islands,” said Robichaud. “We don’t expect anything quite that strong but there may be winds that extend over a larger area than hurricane Juan did.”

READ MORE: Cancellations begin as Dorian moves toward Canada’s East Coast


Its expected power will be lost during the storm and Nova Scotia Power says they are prepared. They’ve brought in more than 100 out-of-province crews to join them to prepare for this storm and its clean up.

“If you combine that with our internal crews we have a total mobilization of just around a thousand people, that’s a combination of powerline technicians, there’s forestry crews, damage assessors, a whole host of resources that come together,” said NS Power CEO Karen Hutt.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre will provide an update on hurricane Dorian on Saturday at 10 a.m.