Widespread precipitation and wind warnings went into effect Tuesday for several regions of southwestern Newfoundland and southeastern Labrador.
From Tuesday night, the province is expected to experience strong gusts between 110 and 160 kilometers per hour as well as 100 millimeters to 200 millimeters of rain, which will continue until Wednesday evening, according to Environment Canada. In the high areas above Port aux Basques area, up to 400 mm of rain has been forecast.
“These are very extreme rainfall rates for this area of the country,” said Dale Foot, a meteorologist at Environment Canada in Gander, NL.
“There will be damage, washed out roads and major impacts in the next few days” as a result of the “unprecedented” floods, he told Global News.
Nova Scotia bracing for heavy rain and wind storms
An atmospheric river system – a phenomenon similar to that which has wreaked havoc in western British Columbia – is also under way in Atlantic Canada.
During the past week, floods, landslides and mudslides in BC has damaged highways, triggered evacuations, stranded thousands of people and killed hundreds of animals. At least one person is dead.
Due to the slightly different topography with fewer trees and more rocks in Newfoundland and Labrador, there is less potential for mudslides, but river levels are going to rise, said Anthony Farnell, Global News’ chief meteorologist.
Southwestern Labrador will look up to “two months of rain falling in two days,” he said.
Western Newfoundland faces several days of flooding as the storm envelops the Atlantic region
The ferry system between Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador has been shut down for the next few days due to the extreme winds and waves, effectively cutting off road access to the island.
Provincial officials are urging people to take all necessary precautions.
The Department of Justice and Public Safety reminded residents to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel.
Emergency services also prepare and send resources prior to the torrential downpour.
“Our emergency operations center is committed and closely monitors the adverse weather and its impact on parts of the province,” NL Premier Andrew Furey said on Twitter.
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro warned residents that power outages could occur.
While the heavy rain is expected to subside after Wednesday, another storm could hit over the weekend, Foot told Environment Canada.
“After this storm goes through to Wednesday night, there will be a bit of a break for cleanup, but it will not be sunny skies and light winds.
“It will be unresolved, but the biggest danger period will be over.”
Meanwhile, rainfall and wind warnings have also been issued for Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, southern New Brunswick, Iles-de-la-Madeleine and the north coast of Quebec.
Up to 75 mm of rain was expected over southern New Brunswick on Tuesday and PEI can expect up to 90 mm in isolated areas.
Nova Scotia Power reported more than 100 outages affecting more than 12,000 customers early Tuesday morning.
– With files from The Canadian Press
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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