Hurricane Bill's bark was worse than its bite

Bill blew through Nova Scotia yesterday, but was more of a bust than ablast, slowing to a Category 1 hurricane by the time it brushed by theprovince.

 

Bill blew through Nova Scotia yesterday, but was more of a bust than a blast, slowing to a Category 1 hurricane by the time it brushed by the province.

 

Between 50 and 60 millimetres of rain fell over Halifax Regional Municipality, with winds of up to 87 kilometres per hour whistling through this part of the province, according to the program supervisor for the Canadian Hurricane Centre.

 

“Half of the rain with the storm evaporated, which was a Godsend,” Peter Bowyer said late yesterday.

 

Late last week, Bowyer’s team was predicting hurricane Bill had the potential to become a “strong Category 2; marginal Category 3” storm, bringing to Nova Scotia gusts of at least 120 km/h, along with more than 100 millimetres of rain within 12 hours.

But Bowyer said Bill was still a “solid Category 1” hurricane yesterday, prompting tropical storm warnings for the province's Atlantic coast and at one point a hurricane watch for Cape Breton.

He said the rainfall that hit Nova Scotia yesterday, combined with whipping winds and dangerous waves, created “quite a fury out there.”

But Patrick Aucoin, who walked along the Halifax waterfront during the storm, called hurricane Bill “disappointing.”

"We were prepared for a lot worse,” Aucoin said. “It didn’t feel like a hurricane at all.”

However, waves reached heights of more than 10 metres along some parts of the coast, Bowyer said, adding the largest recorded waves offshore were close to 26 metres high.

“Any one who was crazy enough to be out there saw a spectacular show and I hope they didn’t get hurt by them,” he said.

Barry Manuel, co-ordinator for the municipality’s Emergency Management Office, said waves will remain dangerous for a few days, adding “People have to stay away from the water’s edge.”

Aside from power outages throughout HRM and debris blocking the road leading to Peggy’s Cove, he said there “has been very little physical damage.”

Sunshine was trying to break through the grey clouds over Halifax late Sunday afternoon, but Bowyer said the storm’s strongest winds still hadn’t hit the province, with gusts of up to 100 km/h expected to blast the Cape Breton coast in the evening, bringing with them fears of potential flooding.
-with files from Paul McLeod