Islanders prepare as Elsa tracks toward P.E.I.

A few boats were being hoisted out of the water at the Charlottetown Yacht Club on Thursday in preparation for the storm.

Heaviest rain expected over western P.E.I., where amounts may exceed 50 millimetres

This smaller boat was being removed from the water Thursday at the Charlottetown Yacht Club in preparation for tropical storm system Elsa. The storm will likely hit P.E.I. late Friday as a post-tropical storm. (Anthony Davis/CBC)

Prince Edward Islanders were preparing Thursday for the arrival of Elsa, a tropical storm system forecast to bring heavy rain and strong winds to the Maritimes.

Environment Canada has issued a tropical cyclone information statement about the storm, which was sweeping up the U.S. Eastern Seaboard on Thursday.

CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland said rainfall warnings were in effect for Prince County, where as much as 50 millimetres of rain could fall Friday evening and into Saturday as Elsa passes over the Island as a post-tropical storm.

He said wind gusts of up to 70 kilometres per hour are possible for parts of the province.

A few boats were being hoisted out of the water at the Charlottetown Yacht Club on Thursday in preparation for the storm.

Sue Rodgers, the club's operations manager, said she had been watching the forecast and speaking with officials at the Canadian Hurricane Centre for three days.

"Truthfully, the weather system that's coming is going to be fairly calm, but it's been fairly unpredictable, so we're taking some precautions," said Rodgers, adding that some larger boats were being moved to safer, less exposed areas of the club.

Sue Rodgers, the operations manager at the Charlottetown Yacht Club, says a few larger boats were being moved to less exposed areas of the club on Thursday in preparation for the storm. (Anthony Davis/CBC)

She said a few skippers chose to remove their boats from the water, and many others were busy tying down their boats and ensuring sails were down.

Tanya Mullally, provincial emergency management co-ordinator with the P.E.I. Emergency Measures Organization, said her office has been having daily briefings with the Canadian Hurricane Centre.

Rainfall warnings were in effect for New Brunswick and western P.E.I. on Thursday. (CBC)

Mullally warned that although Elsa will likely hit P.E.I. as a post-tropical storm, that doesn't mean Islanders should let their guard down.

"A post-tropical storm can be as significant. It could have just as much rain and just as much wind, but it just doesn't have that shape that a typical hurricane has," she said. "Prepare for a hurricane."

Elsa was expected to track over western P.E.I. Friday evening as a post-tropical storm. (CBC)

She said this includes removing items from your yard that could blow away or cause damage. 

Mullally added that it's also prudent to always have a 72-hour preparedness kit on hand, equipped with things like food, medication, batteries and bottled water.

A few showers were expected overnight Thursday with another five to 10 millimetres expected on Friday in advance of the storm hitting late Friday and into Saturday.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Aly Thomson, Anthony Davis and Island Morning