Island shoreline prepares for pounding
Wednesday’s storm shuts down P.E.I., prompts series of weather warnings across the province
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.
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.