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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Document-breaking downpours alongside Canada’s Atlantic coast trigger flooding in Nova Scotia

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HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — An unusually lengthy procession of intense thunderstorms dumped file quantities of rain throughout a large swath of Canada’s Atlantic-coast province of Nova Scotia over the previous two days, inflicting flash flooding, street washouts and energy outages.

Torrential downpours began on Friday afternoon throughout the Halifax area, dumping greater than 200 millimeters of rain in some areas. The port metropolis sometimes receives about 90-100 mm of rain throughout a mean July.

Primarily based on radar estimates and unofficial observations, Surroundings Canada mentioned on Saturday that some areas could have acquired greater than 300 mm in 24 hours. Radar maps present the heaviest rainfall extending alongside the province’s southwestern shore to a degree north of Halifax.

Widespread flooding has additionally been reported in Lunenberg County, which is west of the Halifax area.

On Friday evening, water ranges rose so quick within the Bedford space that volunteers with Halifax Search and Rescue have been utilizing small boats to rescue individuals from inundated houses.

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Within the Hammonds Plains space, northwest of town, flooding washed out driveways and the shoulders of many roads.

That’s the identical space the place the place 151 houses and companies have been destroyed by a wildfire that began on Might 28, forcing evacuations that affected 16,000 residents. And for a lot of the previous week, the Halifax space has been sweltering underneath an motionless dome of humidity — a uncommon occasion so near the coast.

It was solely final fall that post-tropical storm Fiona descended on the Atlantic area, killing three individuals, flattening scores of houses and knocking out energy to greater than 600,000 houses and companies. Fiona was the costliest climate occasion within the area’s historical past, inflicting greater than 800 million Canadian {dollars} ($604 million) in insured harm.

“It’s fairly apparent that the local weather is altering — from Fiona final yr to the wildfires within the spring and now flooding in the summertime,” Halifax Mayor Mike Savage mentioned.

“We’re getting storms that was thought of one-in-50-year occasions … fairly commonly,” he added.

Whereas the official statistics have but to be recorded, it’s believed the Halifax area has not seen this degree of rainfall since Aug. 16, 1971, when hurricane Beth made landfall close to the japanese tip of mainland Nova Scotia after which roared over Cape Breton. At the moment, virtually 250 mm of rain fell on the Halifax space, inflicting widespread flooding and harm.

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