The Maritimes is bracing for a major storm beginning Monday, that is expected to bring up to 150 mm of rain and high winds — especially in eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton.
Environment Canada has issued special weather statements for all three Maritime provinces, with additional rainfall, wind and freezing rain warnings in effect for areas of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Officials are warning about possible flash flooding, storm surges and power outages.
In an update on Sunday afternoon, Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency Deputy Chief Roy Hollett said crews have been out clearing drains and preparing for the storm, which could last several days.
He asked residents to also check storm drains around their homes and clear any debris, such as leaves.
“If people still have furniture or stuff on your decks, please secure it. You don’t want that blowing around,” he added.
Hollett said people should have emergency supplies, such as food and water, that can last 72 hours.
He also asked that “storm chasers” stay away, and let emergency crews do their work. Specifically, he asked people who didn’t need to be outside, to refrain from going out for the next two to three days.
“If it’s coming in to what we’re seeing, with the amount of rain and the wind, it’s not going to be a good situation to be outside,” he said.
Hollett said the city is working with the province and other partners to create a plan to find shelter for the homeless population.
On Twitter, Halifax Search and Rescue wrote that members will be checking wooded areas, as requested by Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency.
“Searchers plus our light vehicles will be responding to the request to help keep out homeless community members safe,” the tweet read.
Meanwhile, Hollett stressed people should check on their neighbours and call 311 if they spot flooding during the storm, or 911 in the case of an emergency.
“It’s not uncommon for the (Halifax Regional Municipality) area to get a nor’easter and get significant rainfall,” he said. “The issue here is how much rain we’ll see over a short period of time.”
The average rainfall for Nova Scotia in November is about 150 mm, the same amount that could fall in just a few days.
Late Sunday afternoon, Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning for much of Nova Scotia, as well as a Les Suêtes wind warning for Inverness County – Mabou and north.
— With a file from The Canadian Press