July 04, 2014 - 9:57 AM
HALIFAX - Forecasters say hurricane Arthur will likely make landfall in southwestern Nova Scotia on Saturday morning as a storm that's still packing near-hurricane strength.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre has upgraded tropical storm watches to warnings for Nova Scotia, all of Prince Edward Island and most of central and southern New Brunswick.
"We want people to pay attention," said Chris Fogarty, the manager of the Halifax-based centre. "There are going to be some impacts from this (storm)."
Arthur has already resulted in the cancellation of Independence Day celebrations along the East Coast of the United States and an exodus of residents from North Carolina's Outer Banks Island as the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season swept northwards.
Fogarty said Friday that Arthur will hit southwestern Nova Scotia and track across the province towards the southern Gulf of Saint Lawrence by Saturday evening.
Wind warnings have been issued for parts of southwestern Nova Scotia, where forecasters are predicting winds will gust up to 90 kilometres an hour.
Fogarty said New Brunswick is expected to get the most rain, with up to 150 millimetres expected in some areas over a 12-hour period and it will come down in heavy sheets.
"There could be up to 20 millimetre per hour rainfall rates, which is an issue," he said. "We can't expect storm drains to keep up with that rate."
Fogarty said storm surges and waves are a possibility along most of the coastlines of Nova Scotia, eastern New Brunswick and around Prince Edward Island.
"There could be some inundation around coastal areas and some beach erosion," he said.
The storm has created cancellations and the postponement of July 4 fireworks celebrations in coastal communities from New Jersey to Maine.
In the Maritimes, the storm has resulted in the cancellation of the popular Stan Rogers folk festival in Canso, N.S., after organizers expressed concerns about public safety.
Strong winds and heavy surf cover Hwy 64 at the Albemarle Sound caused by Hurricane Arthur on July 3, 2014 in Nags Head, North Carolina.
Image Credit: Getty Images/Mark Wilson
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News from © The Canadian Press, 2014