Atlantic Canada braces for hurricane Bill as powerful storm moves northward

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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HALIFAX - Hurricane Bill will most likely enter Atlantic Canadian waters this weekend as a Category 2 storm, packing winds of at least 150 kilometres per hour, the Canadian Hurricane Centre said Friday.
It's still too early to determine with precision how strong the winds will be, but a wide swath of Atlantic Canada from southern New Brunswick to Newfoundland could see anywhere from 100 to 150 millimetres of rain, centre spokesman Peter Bowyer said.
Bowyer said the recent spate of hot humid weather that's been blanketing the region may delay any possible weakening of the storm.
"Because of the warm air mass that's over us that we've all been experiencing and enjoying for the last little while, this storm is actually moving up into an atmosphere that is already more or less tropical," he told a news conference.
"We believe that that's probably going to delay the onset of that transition process."
It's anticipated the track will take the storm along the Nova Scotia coast, brushing the province's eastern shore and Cape Breton.
Bowyer warned of wave swells of two to three metres in height along the Atlantic coast this weekend, generating rough surf and hazardous rip currents.
"It could be quite a dangerous place to be if you're at the coast," he said.
"In the past when we've talked about these kind of waves, it's almost been like a fatal attraction to people to say let's get the kids in the car and go to the coast and see the big waves. We don't want anybody to be doing that."
Bowyer said the centre will likely not issue any warnings until Saturday when they have better data on the storm's progression.
Some people in the Halifax area spent Friday stocking up on food and other supplies ahead of the storm.
"We've tried to make a few things more readily available for us at home like collecting extra batteries, in case we need to use flashlights if there's a power outage," said Mark Perry, a federal public servant.
"We're concerned enough that we're going to tie things down, move the lawn furniture into a safer spot and get it out of the way."
The damage from powerful storms that touched down in southern Ontario a day earlier, killing an 11-year-old boy, served as an important reminder for Perry to be prepared.
"It makes you realize that these kind of weather events can really have some serious effects on property and people," he said.
James Burchill said he wasn't overly concerned about hurricane Bill, but he learned a valuable lesson the last time a powerful storm swept through the city.
"Last time we had a storm like this, all I had was an electric can opener, which was a bit of a problem," Burchill said.
"Now I have a manual can opener and I'll get a few cans. That's all I'm planning to do."
As of 3 p.m. Atlantic time, the eye of hurricane Bill was 475 km south southwest of Bermuda, with maximum sustained winds at 176 km/h. The storm was moving north northwest at 30 km/h.

Organizations: Canadian Hurricane Centre

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, HALIFAX, New Brunswick Newfoundland Nova Scotia Cape Breton Southern Ontario Bermuda

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