HALIFAX — The centre of post-tropical storm Teddy made landfall in eastern Nova Scotia on Wednesday morning, delivering another round of punishing winds and heavy rain — almost a day after its outer bands started lashing the Maritimes.
Bob Robichaud, a meteorologist at the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Halifax, said the sprawling, ragged storm came ashore around 10 a.m. near Sheet Harbour, about 115 kilometres east of Halifax, and then took its time passing overhead.
On Hart Island, which is north of Canso at the eastern edge of the mainland, a peak gust of 107 kilometres per hour was recorded at 10 a.m. local time.
About 90 minutes later, the storm’s centre was just north of Port Hood, on Cape Breton’s southwest coast, churning out maximum sustained winds of 100 kilometres per hour, the centre said in a statement.
Power outages were reported across the province.
Despite Teddy’s unruly bluster, the sheltered harbours along the eastern shore appeared to be weathering the storm. In East Chezzetcook harbour, about 40 kilometres east of Halifax, fishing vessels bobbed in choppy waves, but the storm was having little impact.
Further east in Guysborough, municipal councillor Sheila Pelly said the storm wasn’t nearly as bad as post-tropical storm Dorian, which knocked out power for 500,000 people across the Maritimes in September 2019.
“It’s not raining hard, by any means,” she said. “It’s windy ... It’s much calmer than Dorian. I think it’s not as bad as it was thought it might be. Not in this area anyway.”
Schools were closed, public transit in Halifax was suspended until noon and many flights were cancelled, but no major damage was reported.
Watch: Teddy smashes Massachusetts with high waves. Story continues below.
Shawn Andrews, director of fire, emergency and information services in the Municipality of Guysborough County, said a few trees were downed by gusty winds along the coast, causing some power outages.
“There’s blue skies right now,” he said late Wednesday morning. “I’m assuming the worst is over ... I guess the wind wasn’t as high as anticipated.”
As Teddy trudged its way toward Prince Edward Island, Robichaud said the storm’s lower half wouldn’t let Nova Scotia go with another powerful swat.
Gusts reaching 100 kilometres per hour were in the forecast for later in the day, he said.
“That tip near Canso is probably going to see the strongest winds — and eastern Cape Breton,” Robichaud said.
As for the rainfall, communities in central and northern Nova Scotia received between 50 and 100 millimetres, as was forecast.
Robichaud said a rain gauge at his home in Fall River — just north of Halifax — recorded 100 mm of rain before Teddy pulled away.
Residents of P.E.I. were expected to get 50 mm of rain amid greatly diminished wind speeds. In southwestern Newfoundland, residents have been warned to watch for a storm surge, but the wind and rain weren’t expected to pose much of a threat.
Marine Atlantic, the Crown corporation that operates the ferry service linking Nova Scotia with Newfoundland, cancelled all sailings across the Cabot Strait on Wednesday.
“The storm is weakening as it’s moving towards there,” Robichaud said. “We don’t expect any major impacts there.”
Still, thousands of homes and businesses across Nova Scotia lost power overnight.
By noon on Wednesday, about 18,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were in the dark. But it was clear that the pattern of outages had shifted from western Nova Scotia to Cape Breton, where almost 12,000 were without electricity.
A former Category 2 hurricane, Teddy was reclassified as a post-tropical storm overnight, a designation that refers to the structure of the storm, not its strength.
Meanwhile, storm surge warnings were in effect in the early afternoon for Nova Scotia’s eastern shore and eastern Cape Breton.
On Tuesday night, citizens living in high-risk locations in the Sambro area, Peggy’s Cove and along the eastern shore were asked by Halifax Regional Municipality to voluntarily evacuate their homes.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre and provincial officials made it clear storm surges were their main concern, especially with waves reaching eight metres just offshore.
Though residents were warned to stay away from the coast, photos on social media and on web cameras showed plenty of gawkers on the rocks at Peggy’s Cove and near the sprawling beaches at Lawrencetown, an area east of Halifax.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2020.