Hurricane Irene is on track to hit eastern Canada late Sunday into early Monday, say forecasters, and its impact will be felt throughout the region.
Chris Fogarty, program supervisor for the Canadian Hurricane Center, presented the latest forecast information about Hurricane Irene at a briefing held in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia via teleconference.
Mr. Fogarty says it is anticipated that East Coast Canada is approximately two days away from heavy rain and about two and a half days away from hurricane force winds.
The storm is expected to diminish somewhat upon arrival but is still expected to pound the region. The current track of the storm takes it through Maine and into New Brunswick Sunday evening and with it being about 700 km wide, all Maritimers are urged to take precautions.
Dave Roper of the Emergency Management Office in Nova Scotia, says "Irene could be the first of several threats this hurricane season." He urges every home to prepare an emergency kit or "go bag" in case you have to evacuate quickly. He says people should have a 72 hour supply of food and water, have cash on hand, fill up your vehicle with gas and most importantly to stay indoors and away from the shore.
Mr. Fogarty says the rainfall, which will be heaviest on the western side of the eye will be heaviest around 9 p.m. Sunday evening and that western Nova Scotia (through the Annapolis Valley) will experience the strongest winds. He also warns of storm surges in the Bay of Fundy, particularly in the Cape Split area since the moon has entered a new phase bringing about the highest tides of the year. They expect the storm to enter the area as the tide is coming in, bringing about flooding concerns in the Tantramar Marsh area.
According to CTV News two other hurricanes followed a similar track to Irene. Edna, in 1954 which caused extensive damage and Gloria in 1985.