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Fiona: A list of cancellations as Nova Scotia prepares for powerful storm

Click to play video: 'Hurricane Fiona: Nova Scotia residents urged to be prepared as storm makes landfall' Hurricane Fiona: Nova Scotia residents urged to be prepared as storm makes landfall
Nova Scotians are being urged to get ready as the province awaits the arrival of Hurricane Fiona, which is expected to bring pounding rain, severe winds and storm surges to the province. In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Jason Mew, the director of the province’s Emergency Management Office’s incident management division, had a simple message: be prepared.

Atlantic Canada is bracing itself for the impacts of Hurricane Fiona, which is expected to bring “heavy rainfall and powerful hurricane force winds” beginning Friday.

In preparation, a number of event cancellations and postponements have already taken place, including:

Halifax Transit

Halifax Transit is suspending all service due to Hurricane Fiona, according to a press release.

The Halifax Regional Municipality said all Halifax Transit bus, Access-A-Bus and ferry service will be suspended as of 8:30 p.m. Friday. Any busses in service at 8:30 p.m. will complete their trips.

  • The last ferry from Alderney to Halifax will depart at 8 p.m.
    The last ferry from Halifax to Alderney will depart at 8:15 p.m.
  • The last ferry from Woodside to Halifax will depart at 8:07 p.m.
    The last ferry from Halifax to Woodside will depart at 8:22 p.m.

HRM is also expecting that service will continue to be suspended, or that the start of service will be delayed on Saturday.

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Bridge closures

MacKay Bridge will close at 9 p.m. Friday and the Macdonald bridge will remain open as long as weather permits, according to a press release from Halifax Harbour Bridges.

“Given the predicted rain and the winds associated with the storm, Halifax Harbour Bridges will close the A. Murray MacKay Bridge — and the associated Victoria Road Interchange — on a proactive basis at 9 pm.,” said HHB CEO Tony Wright.

“This is an unprecedented weather event and the deeper we get into the storm, the harder it will be to close the bridge safely.”

Wright said HHB will make every effort to reopen from any closure as quickly as possible and have bridges inspected to make sure there has been no damage.

Flights

Airlines have started making cancellations coming in and out of Atlantic Canadian airports.

Westjet will suspend all Halifax operations from Friday evening until Sunday morning. 

“We continue to monitor Hurricane Fiona’s path closely and will make operational changes in the name of safety as required,” the company said in a release.

Porter Airlines indicated fights in and out of Fredericton, Halifax, Moncton and St. John’s would be impacted.

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Air Canada also has a long list of flights it anticipates will be affected by Hurricane Fiona and advises travellers its ticket policy makes it “easier for customers travelling on an affected flight to make changes to their booking without penalty, space permitting.”

Bay and Northumberland Ferries

In a release Thursday, Northumberland Ferries Limited and Bay Ferries Limited said the storm will impact some of their crossings.

“It is highly likely that wave heights and wind speeds will exceed our companies’ operational limits for safety, passenger comfort, and safe docking of the vessels,” it said.

Click to play video: 'Hurricane Fiona: Halifax mayor urges people to think about fire safety during potential power outages' Hurricane Fiona: Halifax mayor urges people to think about fire safety during potential power outages
Hurricane Fiona: Halifax mayor urges people to think about fire safety during potential power outages

The Cat ferry service between Yarmouth, N.S. and Bar Harbour, Maine, has been cancelled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

As well, service between Caribou, N.S. and Wood Islands, P.E.I., “may be disrupted on Friday,” and all Saturday sailings are cancelled.

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The MV Fundy Rose service between Digby, N.S., and Saint John, N.B., is also cancelled.

“If your reservation is affected by the weather, we will contact you to rearrange your travel,” the release said.

Parks Canada

In anticipation of the severe weather, Parks Canada has decided to temporarily close a number of parks and national historic sites.

On Wednesday, Parks Canada said Kejimkujik National Park, including the National Historic Site and Kejimkujik Seaside, will be closed beginning Friday at noon until further notice.

“Visitors and campers inside the park will be asked to leave and new visitors will not be permitted to enter,” Parks Canada said in a release.

“Guests with camping reservations including the nights of September 23 through 26 will be contacted and their reservations cancelled and fees fully refunded.”

Parks Canada announced Thursday that closures have also been extended to the Fortress of Louisbourg and Alexander Graham Bell national historic sites, as well as the Cape Breton Highlands.

All camping accommodations in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park will be closed at noon on Friday. Guests with camping reservations including the nights of Sept. 23 through Sept. 25 will be contacted and refunded.

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The Fortress of Louisbourg will be closed all day on Friday, while the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site will close at noon that day.

They will both remain closed on Saturday, Sept. 24. While the Fortress of Louisbourg will remain closed on Sunday, the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site is expected to reopen that day.

Nova Scotia provincial parks

All provincial campgrounds, beaches and day-use parks are set to close at 12 p.m. on Friday due hurricane Fiona’s forecast.

“Full refunds will be given for campsite reservations affected by the closure,” read a news release from the province.

“When it is safe to do so, parks will be assessed for safety before re-opening.”

Boardwalks and visitor information centres

Tourism Nova Scotia announced Thursday that visitor information centres at the Halifax Waterfront, Peggy’s Cove and Port Hastings will be closed on Saturday, though other provincial visitor information centres will remain open, pending conditions.

In a tweet, Develop Nova Scotia urged people to avoid the Halifax and Lunenburg waterfronts, as well as Peggy’s Cove over the weekend.

“The water’s edge is a dangerous place to be in a storm,” it said. “Stay safe and stay home.”

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Shopping Malls

Halifax Shopping Centre said in a tweet that it will be closing at 7 p.m. Friday.

Mic Mac Mall will close Friday at 7 p.m. and isn’t scheduled to reopen until noon on Saturday, adding that they’ll reassess by 10 a.m.

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Groceries

Sobeys said in an e-mail to Global News that the regular opening of its stores will be delayed.

These include all Sobeys, Foodland, Lawtons, participating Co-ops grocery stores, and Pete’s Frootique stores in Halifax, Colchester, Guysborough, Pictou and Antigonish counties, as well as all of Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island.

“We will plan to reopen only when it is safe to do so,” said spokesperson Sarah Dawson.

Universities

Dalhousie University announced in a statement that Halifax and Truro campuses, as well as the University of King’s College, will close at 7 p.m. Friday and remain closed on Saturday due to Hurricane Fiona.

“This closure affects all campus buildings including libraries and fitness facilities. Residences and campus dining halls will remain open for residence students,” the university said.

“Employees scheduled to be on campus Friday night and Saturday whose work is deemed essential and is required front-line work may be required to remain on campus…All other employees are asked to stay away from campus during this closure,” Dal added.

According to the university, this closure will be in effect until at least Sunday morning at 8 a.m.

In a statement, St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish said the campus — with the exception of Morrison Hall — will close as of 6 p.m. Friday and will remain closed until Sunday at noon.

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All essential services, such as security, residences, facilities and managemenr will remain operational, the statement said.

“For the safety of the campus community, we advise everyone to stay indoors for the duration of the storm. If you must be outside, please take appropriate precautions to ensure your safety,” it said.

Saint Mary’s University said in a statement that the campus will close at 7 p.m. Friday, and fall convocation ceremonies Friday and Saturday evening are postponed. More information will be communicated to graduates as details are confirmed, the school said.

As well, classes are cancelled Friday evening and Saturday and the Homburg Centre and the Patrick Power Library will be closed. Athletic events on campus Saturday are also cancelled.

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The NSCC campus in Pictou will close at 2 p.m. due to the impending storm.

In a statement, Acadia University did not say if the campus will be closed, but mentioned that in “the event of an emergency, notifications will be communicated using the Acadia ALERT mass notification system.”

Mount Saint Vincent University said it will be closed as of 7 p.m. on Friday until further notice.

“This closure includes the library and fitness centre. Residence remains open,” MSVU said in a tweet.

Port of Halifax

The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ market will be closed on Saturday due to anticipated severe weather.

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As well, cruise operations will be suspended on Friday and Saturday, during which time vessels will not be allowed to berth at Halifax Port Authority facilities.

Cargo vessel movement will be restricted beginning mid-afternoon Friday, and all cargo vessels and barges will be removed from berths.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) is postponing several games, including the Halifax Mooseheads’ and Cape Breton Eagles’ home openers.

The affected games are Moncton vs Cape Breton and Charlottetown vs Halifax on Friday, Halifax vs Charlottetown and Acadie-Bathurst vs Saint John on Saturday, as well as Cape Breton vs Moncton on Monday.

The games will be rescheduled at a later date.

Maritime Major Junior Hockey League

The Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL) is also postponing three games on Friday, as well as all of its games on Saturday.

The games affected on Friday are Pictou County at Yarmouth, Campbellton at South Shore, and Miramichi at Grand Falls. “The game on Friday between the Fredericton Red Wings and Edmundston Blizzard at Centre Jean Daigle will proceed as scheduled,” read the release.

The games affected on Saturday are Yarmouth at Truro, Campbellton at Amherst, and Summerside at Miramichi.

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“An announcement will be made when the above games are rescheduled,” MHL said.

Halifax Wanderers

The Halifax Wanderers is rescheduling their Saturday game against Pacific FC until the next day.

Bluenose II

All Bluenose II cruises have been cancelled from Friday until Sunday.

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Halifax Oyster Festival

The festival’s Friday and Saturday dates have been postponed, and organizers say they are working to find alternate dates.

“The hurricane’s forecast arrival means things will not be safe on the waterfront, and the region’s oyster farmers need to stay close to home,” read a note on the festival’s website.

Hopscotch Halifax

The hip hop music festival, which is scheduled to take place from Thursday until Sunday, has had some venue changes.

All events previously booked for Grand Oasis — an outdoor venue at Grand Parade Square — will now take place at the Lighthouse Arts Centre on Argyle Street and are all 19+ only.

“Priority for these events will be residents holding the “Hopscotch Full Festival” pass and will be first come first serve until capacity is reached,” a statement from the municipality read.

The passes will only be honoured until 8 p.m. for events where admission is free.

Trevor Noah

Due to Hurricane Fiona, Scotiabank Centre said in a tweet that the Trevor Noah show scheduled for Saturday has been postponed until Friday, Oct.14.

“All existing tickets will be valid for the new date,” the centre said, adding that refunds will be issued up until 3 pm on Oct. 3.

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