By The Canadian Press
Now a powerful post-tropical cyclone, former hurricane Lee remains a very large and dangerous storm as it continues to move toward the Maritimes.
Much of Atlantic Canada remains under various weather statements, watches and warnings of high winds, heavy rain, and high coastal waves.
The latest update from Environment Canada puts Lee about 365 kilometres south-southwest of Halifax, with maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometres per hour, and moving north at a speed of 41 kilometres per hour.
The weather agency says bands of heavy rain moved into Nova Scotia Friday evening and are currently are affecting all but northwestern New Brunswick early this morning.
As of 6:00 a.m. ADT, 30 to 60 millimetres of rain has already fallen over southwestern Nova Scotia.
More than 100 millimetres of rain is possible in some areas, with the agency warning of possible flooding in parts of southwestern Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, including Saint John and Moncton. Areas along Nova Scotia’s central Atlantic coast could see breaking waves of between four and six metres, and storm surge warnings are in effect from Shelburne County eastward to Guysborough County.
Wind gusts to 90 kilometres per hour have already been reported along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia from Halifax to Digby County, peaking at 108 kilometres per hour over Baccaro Point, Shelburne County.
Environment Canada has warned winds gusts could reach 120 kilometres an hour, toppling trees and downing power lines. Nova Scotia Power is reporting over 89,000 customers are without power as of around 8:00 a.m., while NB Power reported outages affecting more than 7,000 customers.
The weather agency says Lee’s impact is expected to be felt several hundred kilometres from the centre, which is expected to make landfall somewhere over southwestern Nova Scotia later this afternoon.
A hurricane watch is in place for Grand Manan Island and coastal Charlotte County, N.B., and for most of Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coast, stretching from Digby County through to Halifax County, while a tropical storm warning remains in effect for most of Nova Scotia and for New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy coast and parts of the province along the Northumberland Strait.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convened the incident response group on Friday to discuss the potential effects of the hurricane in Atlantic Canada and parts of eastern Quebec.
The group, which typically consists of cabinet ministers and senior officials, meets only to discuss events with major implications for Canada, such as the recent port strike in British Columbia as well as the wildfires in B.C. and the Northwest Territories.