Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Dorian kicks up behemoth 100-foot wave off Port aux Basques in Newfoundland

Dorian kicks up more than one monster wave near Port aux Basques

Several waves exceeded 25 metres

CBC News · Posted: Sep 10, 2019 12:53 PM NT | Last Updated: 7 hours ago

As post-tropical storm Dorian moves its way north of Newfoundland and Labrador data is rolling in on how powerful the storm really was.

According to the Washington Post, which tracked the storm north of the United States, a Marine Institute-owned buoy picked up a massive rogue wave that topped 100 feet, just over 30 metres, roughly 2.4 kilometres off of the coast of Port aux Basques. That's about the equivalent of an eight-storey building.

"It measures the acceleration and deceleration of the buoy as it travels up and down on the waves, and from that does a calibration of what the wave height might be," said Bill Carter, director with the Centre for Applied Ocean Technology, the team responsible for the equipment which picked up the 30-metre monster.

But more than that, Carter said there were many big recordings on Sunday, several of which broke 25 metres and many more which broke 20 metres in height. 

The three-metre buoys are equipped with accelerometers which calculate the time of the rise and fall of the buoy through a wave to determine the height,.

Through significant wave height, it measures the highest third of the wave.

It also measures wind speed, barometric pressure, dew points and wave direction.

Even bigger?

The buoys collect data in 20 minute blocks, every 30 minutes.

Carter said the 30-metre data was collected in only one of those blocks, while other blocks recorded data at 25 metres and higher, with many more coming in at 20 metres. He added there may have been bigger recordings while the buoy wasn't recording data.

However, Carter is quick to admit that he's only the man behind the equipment.

"I can't speak to the accuracy of this, nor can I speak that this is even possible in the area. I am not an oceanographer. I'm a technical guy who keeps this kind of stuff going," he said.

"But I can say that our equipment was installed correctly, all of our instrumentation was calibrated and our buoy ran for that full period, and continues to run, and is functioning now quite accurately."

Building up

"It appears that this was measured with storm Dorian as it was moving up toward the island of Newfoundland just a little ways offshore from Port aux Basques," David Neil, a meteorologist with the Gander weather office told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.

Neil said big waves are to be expected in hurricanes and tropical storms, but only predicted them to reach between 10 and 15 metres as Dorian made its way over Newfoundland and Labrador.

While a wave of 30 metre magnitude isn't common, Neil said it's always plausible.

The meteorologist said it generally takes a combination of naturally occurring events during a storm to have waves reach 75 to 100 feet.

Dorian cleanup underway as storm moves offshore
Dorian winds whip western Newfoundland, as storm tracks toward North Atlantic
"With the wave heights that were coming in that were quite high, if you get a few of those waves together they can build up constructively," Neil said.

"Of course as it interacts with some of the more shallow coastal waters you can get some buildup of height there. It does take a good setup, but it isn't out of the question."

Southwestern Newfoundland was the area likely to see the highest waves and water levels during Sunday's storm, according to Neil. As of Tuesday, he said, there had been no reports of major problems.

Days without power: Over 100,000 outages persist in Maritimes after Dorian

Justin Trudeau, federal ministers visit Halifax to survey damage

Mairin Prentiss · CBC News · Posted: Sep 10, 2019 8:27 AM AT | Last Updated: an hour ago

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan are in Halifax on Tuesday, three days after power storm Dorian blasted through the Maritimes where tens of thousands of homes and businesses are still without power.

The politicians are observing recovery efforts by military personnel, government officials and the corporation that provides power to Nova Scotians, and they'll also survey the cleanup and meet residents.

Dorian approached the region as a Category 2 hurricane and made landfall near Halifax on Saturday evening as a post-tropical storm with hurricane-strength winds.

Dorian takes out 80% of trees in Cavendish area of P.E.I. National Park, Parks Canada says
Post-Dorian, residents calling for better cellphone service
As of 7 a.m. AT, fallen trees and power lines remained on roads, leaving more than 105,000 Nova Scotia Power customers in the dark.

Also at that time, in Prince Edward Island, 18,000 customers were without power, and in New Brunswick, the number was 2,600.

"We're pleased with the progress," Nova Scotia Power president Karen Hutt told CBC's Information Morning on Tuesday.

"For the most part, the big, big lines, and so on, have been restored."

Some estimated outage restoration times were pushed back on Monday, said Hutt.

The company plans to cut the outages in half by the end of the day Tuesday, she said. 

Everyone will have power by the end of the week, Hutt said at a news conference Tuesday.

The utility is calling individual customers to update them on the status of the repairs, she said.

Amid widespread cellphone outages, Goodale said access to reliable telecommunications is critical and something the federal Liberal government plans to address.

People concerned by cell outages should alert the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, he said.

Sajjan said, "The impact of climate change is having a drastic impact on our country from floods, to fires, to hurricane response. This is something that we need to be very mindful of as a nation and adjusting our response and more importantly, having the preventive measures in place."

On Tuesday, 380 troops, stationed in Yarmouth, Bridgewater, Amherst, Port Hawksbury, Sydney and Halifax, continued to assist power crews in clearing trees and removing debris, and 70 reservists will also begin assisting them.

The bulk of the military's efforts Tuesday will be focused on Bridgewater, said Capt. Guillaume Lafrance, chief of staff for Joint Task Force Atlantic.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil praised the restoration efforts of the privately-owned power utility.

All public schools remained closed in Nova Scotia for a second day.


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Thousands still without power in New Brunswick as Dorian cleanup continues

Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe saw the brunt of power outages this weekend

CBC News · Posted: Sep 09, 2019 8:45 AM AT | Last Updated: September 9

People still without power after Dorian blew through on the weekend should see it restored by Monday evening or early Tuesday morning, according to NB Power's website.

About 80,000 customers in New Brunswick were left in the dark Saturday when the remnants of Hurricane Dorian brought high winds and heavy rain to the Maritimes. 

On Monday morning, roughly 15,000 customers remained without power, but that number had dropped to 2,990 as of 9:30 p.m.

"There could still be some customers today that could go into tomorrow without electricity, but we're really expecting to do the lion's share of the 15,000 today by late afternoon [or] late evening," said NB Power spokesperson Marc Belliveau.

Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe received the brunt of power outages, with 23,000 left in the dark at one point.

Broken trees are to blame for most of the outages. Belliveau said some of the trees are falling over because their roots are over-saturated from the rain.

Cleanup begins in wake of Hurricane Dorian
Some customers could be without power until Monday, says NB Power

"They have no power to hold onto the ground anymore and they're tumbling over."

NB Power has 71 crews and 71 contractors working to restore power in the southeast part of the province.

Customers who see a downed power line are asked to call 1-800-663-6272.

After power is restored in New Brunswick, Belliveau said, the company plans to help with power restoration in Nova Scotia. As of 9:30 p.m. Monday, there were still 112,190 Nova Scotia Power customers without electricity.

Some Bell Aliant customers in New Brunswick experienced phone, internet and TV outages following the storm.

"A limited number of our sites in southeastern New Brunswick were impacted by power outages," spokesperson Katie Hatfield confirmed in an email.

"We're working closely with NB Power to get full power restored to the few remaining sites as soon as possible," she said.

Customers may need to turn their internet modems or TV receivers off and on again to reboot their services once power is restored, she added.

No one injured

Geoffrey Downey, spokesperson for the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, said there were no injuries in the province related to the storm.

EMO spent the weekend monitoring the storm and will be assessing its damage today.

"It looks like it probably could have been a lot worse, as we've seen in Nova Scotia," Downey said.

Tens of thousands in Atlantic Canada still in the dark after Hurricane Dorian

Trevor Goodwin of the YMCA of Greater Moncton's ReConnect Street Intervention Program said four people who stayed outside in the tent city on Albert Street "fared very well," although one tent's interior was soaked from the rain.

Moncton's Harvest House provided shelter to 80 people, nearly double the regular occupancy.

Cleanup continues

While cleanup efforts continued across the province, the City of Saint John reminded people they shouldn't salvage fallen city trees or walk under or climb on downed trees and power lines. Saint John Energy said people should stay 10 metres from fallen lines.

Jeff Hussey, Saint John's  deputy commissioner of transportation and environment services, said city crews worked nearly 14 hours Sunday fixing downed trees and power lines.

"We had a lot of trees coming down city-wide," Hussey said after the damage.

"These trees were impacting our roadways, our pedestrian ways, pulling up sidewalks and things like that and also taking down power lines with them."

He said several roads in the Glen Falls area still need to be cleared and Fundy Drive remains closed because of a fallen tree. The city said it would reopen Monday afternoon.

Once all trees blocking roadways are removed, Hussey said, EMO will assess split and damaged trees.

"If those trees are compromised beyond rehabilitation, then they'll have to come down for safety reasons."

Several of the oldest trees in the city, some of them more than 130 years old, were uprooted by Saturday's high winds, said city arborist Chris Gaudet.

It's a big loss, he said.

"One big elm came down and the elms are becoming few and far between now with the Dutch elm disease. So it's sad to lose one of them," said Gaudet. "It's devastating to lose any tree that size. They've withstood a lot of things and to see them blow over like that is heartbreaking, really."

Seven of the fallen trees were in the city's iconic King's Square.

"I'm devastated, just devastated," said resident Beverley James, who heard about the damage on the news and decided to take a look herself. It was much worse than what she anticipated, she said.

"I just got really emotional because I played in this park when I was a little girl … It's just going to be so different now. I mean, we've lost a bit of history."

Bill Quartermain, who walks through the square almost every day, couldn't believe the extent of the destruction. He called it a "travesty."

Donna Thompson, who was out storm-watching Saturday night, said she saw one of the first trees fall. It created "a big crash," she said.

Thompson went back to the park on Monday and said she'll never doubt the power of Mother Nature.

"This was just supposed to be the tail end of [Dorian]. You can imagine if we were in the centre of the eye of the storm, it really definitely would have did a lot more damage."

In Pointe-du-Chêne, homeowners and businesses were dealing with power outages, uprooted trees and flooding.

Tara Gartke, who lives just steps from the ocean, said she was terrified as she watched the water rise.

"It was hell. It was scary," she said.

"My neighbours came to get me out. The water was up to our hips here. We couldn't get out of here."

Storm surge is a big concern for those who live close to the water. That's why Gartke built shelves suspended from the ceiling in her basement.

She was relieved when she went downstairs on Monday to assess the damage. '

"I think this is OK. You don't know how happy that makes me."

It's the kind of storm that nobody's seen before.
- Gerry O'Brien, Shediac Bay Yacht Club manager
Dave Redfern, whose boat Primrose was moored at the Shediac Bay Yacht Club, wasn't as fortunate.

"It's lying at a 45-degree angle, so it's not floating," he said.

"I was prepared for maybe some movement here or something. I wasn't prepared for what I call a disaster."

His was one of dozens of boats damaged as the wharf let go.

"It's the kind of storm that nobody's seen before," said club manager Gerry O'Brien.

Although the biggest vessels were moved out ahead of the storm, there were still about 60 boats tangled together.

He expects the cleanup will take three or four days.

'We have a wind crane that's been brought in," O'Brien said. "We have a second crane coming in tomorrow. We have an extra four guys that'll be coming tomorrow.

"Today we've got two crews. So far we have about 10, 12 boats that we've kind of dislodged that didn't have too much damage."

Day off for students

Power outages forced several schools in the Anglophone East School District to stay closed on Monday.

Caledonia Regional High School, Edith Cavell School, Hillsborough Elementary School, Port Elgin Regional School, Riverside Consolidated School, Riverview High School, Shediac Cape School were closed.   St. Martins School in the Anglophone South School District was also closed because of a power outage.

Dorian takes out 80% of trees in Cavendish area of P.E.I. National Park, Parks Canada says

Storm caused about 2 metres of coastal erosion as well, early surveys suggest

CBC News · Posted: Sep 10, 2019 2:00 PM AT | Last Updated: an hour ago

About 80 per cent of the trees in the Cavendish area of P.E.I. National Park were lost after suffering damage from post-tropical storm Dorian, Parks Canada says.

It also estimates about two metres of coastal erosion in the park after the storm.

UPDATEDMore than 17,000 still without power on P.E.I.

Cavendish Campground closes for season after 'significant change to the landscape'
Parks Canada has yet to fully assess the damage caused by the storm, said spokesperson Annette Campbell.

"Upon first assessment, it was determined that there is extensive damage to the coastal forest in the Cavendish part of the park, with approximately an 80 per cent loss of trees," she said in a statement.

The area most affected is the west side of the park in Cavendish.

Damage to infrastructure is also being evaluated at this time.

From free shampoos to free food, Dorian brings out best in some Islanders

Parks Canada officials hope to have a more detailed report on Friday.