Is­land shore­line pre­pares for pound­ing

Wed­nes­day’s storm shuts down P.E.I., prompts se­ries of weather warn­ings across the prov­ince

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - NORTH RUS­TICO

Like many com­mu­ni­ties along the Is­land’s shore­line, North Rus­tico was pre­par­ing for a pre­dicted storm surge Wed­nes­day night.

Ear­lier that day, as the surf pounded against the rocks by the town’s break­wa­ter, Sally Pineau, a mem­ber of the North Rus­tico Fire Depart­ment, said dur­ing a short in­ter­view that the town’s evac­u­a­tion plan was ready to go in the event that the storm surge threat­ens homes or other in­fra­struc­ture.

Town of­fi­cials pre­dict the surge will sur­pass the one in 2010 when a por­tion of the break­wa­ter was de­stroyed.

Late Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon En­vi­ron­ment Canada has posted storm surge and wind warn­ings for Kings and Queens coun­ties and storm surge warn­ings for Prince County.

“An in­tense low pres­sure sys­tem over the Gulf of St. Lawrence will de­velop a storm surge which will com­bine with the high tide this evening to give el­e­vated wa­ter lev­els to the western and north­ern coast­lines of the Is­land,” En­vi­ron­ment Canada warned.

“Ad­di­tion­ally, rough and pound­ing surf is ex­pected as a re­sult of the strong winds as­so­ci­ated with the sys­tem.”

Winds were ex­pected to gust from 90 km/h to 120 km/h.

That fol­lows a day when Prince Ed­ward Is­land res­i­dents were busy dig­ging out from a dump­ing of snow that prompted wide­spread cancellations and a day off from work and school for many.

Road con­di­tions were poor, plows weren’t on the road and po­lice were warn­ing peo­ple to stay home. Busi­nesses were closed and there were few peo­ple trav­el­ling.

The Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion had taken plows off the sec­ondary roads in West Prince from Portage west due to poor vis­i­bil­ity Wed­nes­day night.

“Our salt trucks were first to be out on the streets very early this morn­ing,” Sum­mer­side’s di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Lorri Laughlin, said Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

“Then our snow­plows did their first run of the streets be­gin­ning be­tween 10 and 11 a.m.

Is­land school chil­dren got their first storm day of 2016 as did those at­tend­ing and work­ing at UPEI and Hol­land Col­lege. Pro­vin­cial govern­ment of­fices across the Is­land also closed for the day.

Po­lice of­fi­cials said there were no ac­ci­dents dur­ing the height of the storm.

BRIAN MCINNIS/THE GUARDIAN

Sally Pineau, a mem­ber of the North Rus­tico Fire Depart­ment, walks along the break­wa­ter in North Rus­tico as waves pound against the rocks Wed­nes­day. Town of­fi­cials were ready for a storm surge overnight Wed­nes­day and had put their evac­u­a­tion plan into ef­fect. En­vi­ron­ment Canada had is­sued a wind and storm surge warn­ing.

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