Nova Scotians assess damage after storm
Nova Scotia Power says it could be days before everyone is reconnected
Last Updated: Sunday, November 4, 2007 | 9:01 PM AT
The powerful remnants of Hurricane Noel knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses, and damaged property and roads around Nova Scotia overnight.
Even though Nova Scotia was the hardest hit of the Atlantic provinces, one homeowner said it could have been much worse.
A tree ripped the front porch off this house in south-end Halifax.
"We got hit hard in Hurricane Juan as well so we have another messy day of cleanup," said Sean Sturge, assessing the toppled tree that tore off the front porch of his house in south-end Halifax.
"But everybody is OK and our kids slept through it, so all in all not a bad night."
Noel was no Hurricane Juan, the category 2 storm that killed several people and left 300,000 customers without power when it tore through the province in September 2003.
An elderly couple in Dartmouth had to leave their trailer when the wind ripped the metal roof off.
Noel, which was downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday, blew in to Nova Scotia early Sunday morning with winds gusting to 100 kilometres per hour in many areas. The highest gusts were recorded on McNabs Island in Halifax Harbour, at 135 km/h.
Several areas in western Nova Scotia received up to 70 to 75 millimetres of rain, though there were reports of 130 mm in one part of northern Cape Breton.
There are no reports of deaths related to Noel. About 170,000 homes and businesses — one-third of Nova Scotia Power's customer base — lost electricity because of toppled trees and power lines.
The wind ripped the brick siding off this building in Halifax.
By Sunday afternoon, the utilty said power had been restored to 40 per cent of those who lost it. However, the utility said it could be late Tuesday night before power was reconnected in 31 communities.
"Right now we want people to have a really realistic understanding of just how significant the damage is," spokeswoman Margaret Murphy told CBC News.
Nova Scotia Power said it had sent 175 crews — all available employees — to assess and repair the damage. Another 37 crews from Hydro-Québec and Maine are heading for the province, and additional help from New England and perhaps New Brunswick may be available Monday.
RCMP urged people to stay away from the coastlines.
(Courtesy of Daryl Gray)
Hospital loses part of roof
The high winds knocked bricks off the side of an apartment complex in Halifax, damaging several unoccupied cars. In Dartmouth, an elderly couple was forced out of their home when the wind blew the roof off their trailer.
The wind pried away one-third of the roof off Simpson Hall, one of the buildings at the Nova Scotia Hospital, forcing officials there to move patients on the top floor.
Down the shore at Queensland Beach, a section of the road was torn up to the point that some residents said it looked like an earthquake had hit.
One witness told CBC News that waves that seemed to be as tall as an office building swept up to her front yard, littering it with small boulders.
Though the weather had improved by late Sunday morning, RCMP were urging people to stay off the roads and avoid the coastlines. One person who slipped on the rocks at Peggy's Cove was taken to hospital.
"We have RCMP officers down in that area … trying to advise people to stay off the rocks for their own personal safety," said Cpl. Joe Taplin.
In the Windsor area, the Canadian Red Cross opened "comfort centres" to help people cope with what could be extended power outages.
Most buses in the Halifax region were back to their usual routes, but the ferries connecting the province to Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland were still not running by noon Sunday. Some flights out of the Halifax airport were delayed or cancelled.
While still a hurricane, Noel killed more than 100 people as it blew through the Caribbean earlier in the week before heading north through the Atlantic.
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