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Official warns against complacency ahead of Hurricane Bill

Nova Scotians should brace themselves for an unwelcome guest arriving late this weekend.

Nova Scotians should brace themselves for an unwelcome guest arriving late this weekend.

However, meteorologists still don’t know just how overbearing Hurricane Bill will be when it blows through Nova Scotia late Sunday or Monday.

“It will lose some intensity by the time it gets here, the question is just how much,” Bob Robichaud of the Atlantic Storm Prediction Centre in Dartmouth said yesterday.

By mid-afternoon yesterday, Environment Canada was predicting Bill would slow to a Category 1 storm when it’s offshore of the province.

Hurricane Bill was a strong Category 4 storm late yesterday as it churned about 1,700 miles southeast of Bermuda, Robichaud said.

He said when Hurricane Juan hit Nova Scotia in Sept. 2003, it was ranked as a Category 2 storm, barely above the threshold of being Category 1.

Bill Lawlor, regional director of disaster management for the Canadian Red Cross, said residents should always be ready for extreme weather but added, “since Bill is right on our doorstep, we might want to prepare for him.”

“A lot of complacency exists along our coastal communities, as we experienced during Hurricane Juan,” he pointed out yesterday. “We want to make sure that people heed the warnings and pay very close attention to the local authorities with respect to what may be happening with the winds.”

Lawlor said households should start planning for Bill now, which includes packing an emergency preparedness kit that will last for at least three days, with supplies such as water, non-perishable food, a first-aid kit, a flashlight and a radio.

“We will be placing all of our teams on standby throughout Atlantic Canada regardless of wherever Bill may or may not hit,” he added.

Spokeswoman Michelle Perry said the province’s Emergency Management Office is also keeping a close eye on the storm, with “a highly experienced and trained team of professionals” standing by as Bill approaches.

 
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