Hurrican Earl has been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane but it's still expected to begin affecting Nova Scotia late Friday night. Provincial authorities have closed camping parks and provincial beaches as they expect severe weather conditions.
Nova Scotia provincial camping parks such as Blomidon Provincial Park in Kings County, will close today at 1 p.m. AST. Most of Nova Scotia is under hurricane or tropical storm watch and authorities are ensuring that there is time for campers to find alternate shelter.
Moments ago, the US National Weather Service said Earl has been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, as it moves up the East Coast. Even though hurricane watches have been reduced in US states such as Massachusetts, a watch is still in effect for Nova Scotia from Ecum Secum westward to Digby.
It is expected Earl will hold on to its intensity as the water surrounding Atlantic Canada are unusually warm due to the heat wave.
The Weather Network is reminding Atlantic Canadians that as the storm approaches it is possible for tornadoes to form.
The province isn't taking any chances. Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park, day-use and camping parks will be closed to the public effective immediately and all other parks will close at 7 p.m. Friday, says a government press release.
All facilities will remain closed until further notice. Damage assessments will be performed on Sunday.
Full refunds will be given to anyone who had advance bookings for the holiday weekend.
The eye (center of frame) of Hurricane Earl is seen in this image taken as the International Space Station passed over the storm on Wednesday, Sept. 1 2010.
Nova Scotia's Wharf Rat Rally, held in Digby, which is expected to draw 25,000 motorcycles and attract approximately 100,000 people, most of whom will be camping, has not been cancelled. Digby is presently under a hurricane watch.
Public notice of park re openings will be provided on the provincial parks website.