Sunday, Sept 17, 7:30am
I hope you are safe and well this morning! We lost power at 7:30am yesterday, and are hoping to get it back today. I expect this will be my only Hurricane Lee Update unless some new issue arises.
While Halifax has escaped the hurricane with less impact than we feared, we were still kissed by hurricane-force winds and substantial storm surge, and the damage and impacts are real, if not as extensive as Fiona’s.
Staff have notified us that the municipality is starting to get more information and assessments on municipal assets. The roof on the greenhouse at Caledonia Road has been damaged, and St. Mary’s Boat Club needs to be closely assessed. HRM and Build NS have noted some damage to the boardwalk in downtown.
It is safe to say that much of our lasting damage is from storm surge and wave action, and until checked, most waterside infrastructure should be approached with caution.
This email contains updates from late yesterday night or early this morning from Halifax Regional Municipality, Halifax Water, and NS Power.
The cumulative stresses of this year, and the last couple of years, can hit pretty hard. It is ok to feel not ok! The best ways to address concerns and support each other include:
- listen and provide reassurance – it’s normal to have questions
- get information from reliable sources
- address questions and correct misinformation
- watch for discrimination or bullying related to COVID-19
- maintain normal routines and programming as much as possible
As always if you feel you are a risk of harm to yourself or others, you should call 911, or visit your local emergency department.
If not an emergency dial 8-1-1 to seek a nurse, visit your local emergency department or visit NS Health Psychiatric Emergency Department. For more information regarding where to seek help please visit NS Mental Health & Addiction page online.
For further assistance:
Mental Health & Addictions
NEED HELP NOW?
Mental Health Crisis Line
Available 24 hours, seven days a week
Kids Help Phone
Available 24 hours, seven days a week
As always, please be kind, be patient, check on your neighbours, and take care of yourself,
Halifax Regional Municipality
UPDATE – Sept 16 5pm
The Halifax Regional Municipality is advising residents of the following updates and impacts to municipal services as a result of Hurricane Lee. Municipal service adjustments will continue to be made throughout the severe weather event. For the latest information, visit our website.
While strong winds and rain are expected to continue throughout the evening, the most significant impacts will be the storm surge. Of particular concern is tonight’s high tide, the peak of which will occur around 9 p.m.
Peggy’s Cove remains closed to the public. Residents are strongly urged to stay away from all shoreline areas as they still pose an extreme risk, especially during the peak tide period. In addition to Peggy’s Cove, areas of significant concern remain the Eastern Shore and the Bedford, Halifax and Dartmouth waterfronts. Security and police presences have increased on the Halifax waterfront. Residents are reminded to respect posted signage and barriers as the area is considered extremely dangerous.
Residents are urged to remain off the roads for non-essential travel as there are reports of downed trees and powerlines across the region. Many shoreline roads are now closed due to washouts and impassible conditions.
See a map of closed roads due to downed trees, powerlines, washed out culverts and the storm surge. Crews and first responders continue to assess locations and the map will be updated as new areas are identified.
Residents are requested to report any damage to 311.
Register for hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system to receive urgent and non-urgent public alerts by phone, email or text. Sign up here.
For more information about what residents can do in the wake of the severe weather, visit our website.
Parks and Recreation Centres
Due to weather conditions, downed trees and widespread power outages, all municipal parks and most municipal recreation facilities are closed for the remainder of the day. Contact your local recreation centre for more information.
Due to widespread power outages, many municipal recreation facilities will delay opening on Sunday, September 17. A decision will be made by 10 a.m. (with potential re-opening at noon) regarding whether rentals/facilities/programming activities will continue as scheduled. Please call your local Recreation Centre for further information.
As previously announced, all grass fields, all-weather fields and the Halifax Public Gardens will be closed this weekend. Residents may check field conditions on our website.
Residents are advised of the following significant service disruptions:
- The MacKay Bridge remains closed to high-sided vehicles and buses will be re-routed as required; and
- Ferry operations were suspended as of 10:15 a.m.
Most conventional bus and Access-A-Bus trips are expected to continue as scheduled throughout the day; however, residents should expect delays as the weather system moves through the region over the next 12 hours. Updates are shared on halifax.ca/transit, as well as Twitter (X).
Helping address homelessness
As previously announced, the Province of Nova Scotia is operating the following emergency shelters for those experiencing homelessness as of 6 p.m. on Friday, September 15:
- Captain Spry Community Centre (16 Sussex Street, Halifax)
- St. Matthew’s Church (1479 Barrington Street, Halifax)
- Beacon House (125 Metropolitan Avenue, Lower Sackville)
Street Outreach Navigators have been visiting encampment sites to advise people of sheltering options available.
The Halifax Ground Search and Rescue team continue to do wellness checks to check on the safety of anyone who chooses not to leave an encampment or outdoor sheltering location.
Residents who have a private well or draw water from nearby lakes or other water bodies usually use pumps to supply water to their homes and buildings. During a power outage, this can be interrupted, and there is also the potential for water contamination from surface flooding and pollution. For more information and resources, visit Halifax Water’s website.
How Water Service Can Be Impacted During Extreme Weather Events
(September 16, 2023) Halifax Water is committed to ensuring customers have safe, reliable water services, even during extreme weather events. Our large water supply plants can continue to provide safe, high-quality water using backup generators for extended periods.
The water distribution system is designed, operated and maintained to provide service during extreme weather events such as hurricanes, tropical storms, and snow or ice storms. However, some circumstances can impact your water supply. These include:
Large Apartment/Condo Buildings
These structures often rely on electrical booster pumps that are part of the building’s private plumbing system to distribute water throughout the building, especially to the higher levels. In the event of a power outage, those pumps may not function without a backup power supply. As a result, building occupants may not have access to water until power is restored.
Small Community Water Supply Plants Within HRM, some small communities outside the urban core receive water service from Halifax Water. Unfortunately, these smaller water supply plants cannot run on backup generator power for extended periods. As a result, there is a possibility that those customers may experience a reduction in water pressure or loss of water service in the event of a power outage.
Private Wells and Lakes (Surface Water)
Residents who have a private well or draw water from nearby lakes or other water bodies usually use pumps to supply water to their homes and buildings. During a power outage, this can be interrupted, and there is also the potential for water contamination from surface flooding and pollution. These residents should prepare by having a 72-hour supply of drinking water.
Private wells and surface water supplies are not operated by Halifax Water. These water sources are not tested by Halifax Water. We do not have information on the quality or safety of private water supplies. It is highly recommended that residents be vigilant and use the resources of the Government of Nova Scotia. This includes information on the following:
* Surface Water: www.novascotia.ca/nse/surface.water/docs/SurfaceWaterQA.pdf
For other tips to help prepare for extreme weather events, please visit www<www.halifax.ca/fire-police/fire/emergency-management/emergency-preparedness/hurricanes>.halifax.ca/fire-police/fire/emergency-management/emergency-preparedness/hurricanes.
Provided by NS Power 6:30pm yesterday: I want to provide you with an update on our ongoing efforts to respond to the impact of post-tropical storm Lee. Tropical storm force winds persist across much of Nova Scotia, making conditions extremely difficult for our dedicated crews. Winds have exceeded 90 km/h in most areas of the province, with the metro area experiencing gusts over 120 km/h.
We are working closely with the provincial Emergency Management Office (EMO) on the response. As of 5pm, approximately 250,000 customers have been affected since Lee arrived in the province and we have restored power to about 95,000 of them. Our dedicated teams are currently focusing on assessing the extent of damage and working diligently to restore power from the ground since wind speeds continue to exceed 80 km/hr, making it unsafe for crews to be in the buckets.
So far, the hardest hit areas have been the western part of the province (South Shore, Tri-County, and Annapolis Valley) and the HRM area. The wind is expected to persist throughout the night, as Lee slowly travels across the province.
We encourage customers to stay informed by visiting our website nspower.ca for real-time updates and to report outages or to get the latest estimated restoration times through our outage map online outagemap.nspower.ca or by phoning at 1-877-428-6004. Estimated power restoration times may vary but will be updated as our crews assess damage.
We are asking customers to report downed power lines immediately to our customer care team at 1-877-428-6004 or by calling 911.
The safety of our employees, contractors, and customers remains our top priority. I will continue to provide updates as we work towards the safe restoration of power to our customers.