Newfoundland on watch as tropical storm Leslie approaches
Published Monday, September 10, 2012 6:55AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 10, 2012 6:46PM EDT
Tropical storm and hurricane watches are in effect for parts of coastal Newfoundland as the island braces for the arrival of tropical storm Leslie.
The storm is currently centred in the Atlantic, having buffeted Bermuda Sunday with strong winds but little damage.
It continues to churn toward Atlantic Canada, and is expected to make landfall in Newfoundland Tuesday morning, according to the most recent statement from the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
The system is currently 890 kilometres from Cape Race, N.L., and has maximum sustained winds of 110 km/h. The system is heading north-northeast at about 56 km/h, according to the centre.
Environment Canada has issued a hurricane watch for parts of Newfoundland ranging from Stones Cove to Charlottetown. A tropical storm warning is in place for areas ranging from Indian Harbour to Triton.
Earlier Monday, Environment Canada said a trough of low pressure has stalled near the west coast of Newfoundland and will likely interact with Leslie as it approaches Newfoundland.
"This trough will accelerate and steer Leslie toward southeastern Newfoundland where it is expected to make landfall as a marginal hurricane or strong tropical storm later Tuesday morning,” the agency said.
Newfoundland and Cape Breton can expect wind gusts topping 100 km/h as the storm approaches, the Canadian Hurricane Centre predicts. Nova Scotia and P.E.I. could also see 100 to 150 millimetres of rain over a period of about 36 hours.
Already, some parts of Atlantic Canada have seen between 30 and 70 millimetres of rain in the last 24 hours, and waves are beginning to pick up.
Nova Scotia towns like Truro and Bible Hill were flooded by Monday afternoon as several dikes gave way in the North and Salmon rivers.
“It’s a nightmare,” Truro resident Ernie Laffin told CTV Atlantic.
A group of residents had to be rescued from a local radiator shop where they reported to work as usual Monday morning as water levels rose around them. They were brought to safety on an inflatable boat.
“I’m just concerned mostly for the product in the building,” Matt MacDonald said.
Mayor Bob Taylor of the Municipality of the County of Colchester said 22 people had come to emergency shelters in a local church and the Bible Hill Fire Department.
Leslie is expected to affect the Canadian Maritimes “for the next day or two,” the U.S. National Hurricane Center said, adding: "These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions."
Leslie will arrive almost two years after Hurricane Igor pounded Newfoundland as a Category 1 hurricane. It dumped 200 millimetres of rain, caused $200 million in damage and was blamed for the death of one man.
With a report from CTV Atlantic and files from The Canadian Press