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LATEST: Hurricane Dorian will impact Cape Breton with winds topping out at 120 km/h late Saturday evening

An infra-red satellite image courtesy of Environment and Climate Change Canada shows hurricane Dorian churn less than 500 kilometres south of the Nova Scotia coastline. The category 1 storm is expected to make landfall somewhere in the Halifax Regional Municipality at around 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019.
An infra-red satellite image courtesy of Environment and Climate Change Canada shows hurricane Dorian churn less than 500 kilometres south of the Nova Scotia coastline. The category 1 storm is expected to make landfall somewhere in the Halifax Regional Municipality at around 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. - Contributed photo

Dorian will make landfall in the Halifax area as category 1 storm around 9 p.m.; Canso Causeway and Seal Island Bridge are closed to high-sided vehicles

SYDNEY, N.S. —

Hurricane Dorian remains on a consistent path as it makes a beeline for the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia. 

The storm will likely make landfall somewhere in the Halifax Regional Municipality by about 9 p.m., with its eye cutting a swath through the province to the eastern edge of Prince Edward Island overnight Saturday.

There are now more than 306,000 Nova Scotia Power customers currently in the dark, most of them located in the Halifax area.

Cape Breton is starting to see more outages across the island such as in Port Hawkesbury and central Inverness County, as well as outages in Sydney, New Waterford, Glace Bay and the Northside areas in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. There are more than 6,200 customers in Cape Breton that are currently without electricity.

THE LATEST ON DORIAN 

Dorian was recently upgraded to a weak category 2 hurricane with top wind speeds of 155 km/h. It is approaching Halifax moving in a northeast direction at about 46 kilometres per hour. 

SaltWire Network meteorologist Cindy Day said Saturday morning that Dorian will likely lose some of its wind intensity when it comes into contact with the Nova Scotia shoreline. Wind speeds are estimated to be between 120 km/h and 130 km/h. 

IMPACT FOR CAPE BRETON 

Day said at this point focusing on the category of the storm is not helpful at all. 

“It’s a powerful storm. We should focus on what it’s bringing,” she said, during a morning briefing with SaltWire Network reporters. 

In Cape Breton, generally winds will peak at 110 km/h to 120 km/h with “some spots” of 130 km/h, particularly in the Cape Breton Highlands. 

Day said it will almost exclusively be a wind event for Cape Breton as the amount of rain is anticipated to be no more than 30 to 40 millimetres. 

“All of Cape Breton is under a hurricane warning. That means sustained winds of 119 km/h or more are likely so that’s what you’ll expect as the system tracks through,” she said. 

Peak wind gusts should be felt across Cape Breton by mid to late evening until about 3 a.m. Sunday. At that point the wind will change to the west and northwest at about 90 to 100 km/h. The storm system should move through Cape Breton over a six-hour period. 

“The wave heights off the southeast facing coastlines of Cape Breton will be near 14 metres. It will be impressive. 

“You’re still on the very windy, damaging” side of the system, Day added. 

A storm surge warning remains in effect for the western coastline of Cape Breton and as a result the province closed the Canso Causeway to high-sided vehicles at 2 p.m., and has since decided to close the Seal Island Bridge to high-sided vehicles as well. Updates will be available to anyone calling 511 for assistance.

STORM PREPARATIONS 

Nova Scotia Power is encouraging customers to have the essentials at the ready in case the storm becomes a worst-case scenario: 

• Monitoring local weather forecasts. 

• Having an emergency kit that includes flashlights, a battery-powered radio and fresh water and enough food to last a household for at least 72 hours. 

• Charging electronic devices. 

• If you lose power, turn off and unplug electrical equipment, such as televisions and computers to prevent damage when power is restored. 

• Visit www.nspower.ca/stormready for a full list of safety and storm preparedness tips. 

• Customers can report outages and get estimated restoration times online at outagemap.nspower.ca or by calling Nova Scotia Power at 1-877-428-6004. Estimated times of restoration will be posted, and NSP will make updates to the estimated restore times once its teams have assessed damage. 

CANCELLATIONS

Cape Breton University closed its campus including the university library at 4 p.m. Saturday. Whether the campus will reopen will be reassessed by the administration Sunday morning with a notice being issued by 7 a.m. advising staff and students on the status of the campus.

chris.shannon@cbpost.com 

Twitter: @cbpost_chris 

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