Even though hurricane Bill didn’t put up much of a fight, yesterday emergency management officials were celebrating a smooth response.
“The system reacted really well to the hurricane. Everything was in place,” Emergency Management Minister Ramona Jennex said during a post-Bill press conference in Dartmouth.
“We’re ready for another one if it happens.”
While there were no reports of anyone seriously injured by the storm, the dollar value of the damage won’t be fully known for a few weeks, but despite some flooding, downed trees and power outages, officials said the total damage was not severe.
They also said the event was a success of co-ordination between the Emergency Management Office, police, and other groups. EMO CEO Craig MacLaughlan said they will be reviewing how the storm was handled, but so far no glaring errors have been spotted.
“I think we learn from every event. We’ll have a debriefing here in the next couple of days and we’ll look at all the actions that we took, and if there (are) things that need to be improved upon we’ll do that, but nothing jumped out at us,” MacLaughlan told reporters.
The EMO team has started scouring the province to inventory the damage caused by Bill, with a full report planned within the next few weeks.
But as Bill joins the list of post-Juan storms that failed to live up to initial fears, Jennex urged the public not to let their guard down.
“We don’t want to become complacent in Nova Scotia. We have a history of storms happening so we have to be on guard all the time,” she said.
Hurricane Juan took many people in the province by surprise in late September 2003, hitting Halifax Regional Municipality head on as a Category 2 storm and causing extensive and expensive damage.
Hurricane Noel was downgraded to a post-tropical storm system when it reached Nova Scotia in early November 2007, but Environment Canada says it was up to three times the size of hurricane Bill.
-with files from Kristen Lipscombe