The First Nol - 2007

Intense Atlantic storm causes widespread outages

Trees

November 4, 2007 - CBC News

Tens of thousands of people in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island were without power Sunday after the remnants of Hurricane Nol - yes, the first Nol! - battered Atlantic Canada with high winds and driving rain.

 

A number of trees were toppled by the wind in Halifax and other communities. (CBC) Damaging your neighbour's lawn conifer while shrewd, is not a prudent way of marking your Christmas Tree for December's yuletide harvest!  Splitting the trunk is not an acceptable alternative to red tape. 

 

In Nova Scotia, which was hit hardest, as many as 170,000 homes and businesses lost electricity. NB Power reported outages for about 7,000 customers. In Prince Edward Island, about 10,000 people were without power, mostly in the eastern half of the province.

This storm cut a wide swath, and when the storm switched track a little bit it came right over population areas, so our crews are now out working right here in HRM, in Halifax, as well as other counties to the east and the west and into parts of Cape Breton, said Margaret Murphy of Nova Scotia Power.

Our crews were able to work through parts of the storm and actually restore power to 50,000 customers last night at the height, but we have our work cut out for us, Murphy said. Now with daylight, our crews are working hard to restore power right across mainland Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia Power said crews from Hydro-Qubec were expected to arrive on Sunday, but it could still take a couple of days to restore power to everyone.

While it was still a hurricane, Nol killed at least 73 people in the Dominican Republic and 40 in Haiti. One person was killed in Jamaica and one man died in the Bahamas. It was downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday, lashing the New England states as it churned north through the Atlantic.

The winds were at their strongest late Saturday and into early Sunday as the storm hit the southwest shore of Nova Scotia, before passing over New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Pounding rain and hurricane-force winds gusting to 130 kilometres per hour continued overnight across the Maritimes. To the north, gusts of 145 km/h were reported at Wreckhouse in southwestern Newfoundland early Sunday.

Some areas were expected to receive up to 70 millimetres of rain. But snow was in the forecast for the Labrador communities of Churchill Falls and Wabush and parts of northern New Brunswick.

Overnight, city crews reported some flooding of streets in Moncton, N.B., where storm drains couldn't keep up with the flow of water.

 

Fallen tree limbs caused widespread power outages. (CBC) Great care must be taken in harvesting Balsam Fir boughs for wreaths prematurely.  Axes need to be sharp and "select your own" is not an adequate defence in cutting down your neighbour's coveted prized Blue Spruce!  

 

An elderly couple in the Halifax area said the roof of their mobile home was torn off and there were numerous reports of fallen trees throughout the province.

Noel was having an impact on travel as well. Most flights across the region were cancelled on Saturday.

Aircraft were kept in hangars overnight, said Peter Spurway, spokesman for Robert L. Stanfield International Airport in Halifax. There will be some availability of aircraft Sunday morning, but it won't be the normal complement, he said, adding that airline schedules were to remain out of kilter for the next couple of days.