It only took a week, but Nova Scotia is expecting its first storm of 2018 this coming Thursday.
The federal Department of Environment and Natural Resources has issued a statement warning residents of a major winter storm on Thursday night. The storm is anticipated to drop about 20-30 cm of snow onto the province, followed by rainfall volumes of 20-30 mm, specifically forecasted for the southwest of the province.
According to the statement, long-range models are indicating Nova Scotia is in the path of a storm approaching from the southwest. The department has warned that possible consequences of the storm will include power outages, deteriorating travel conditions and potential school disruptions.
The storm is anticipated to be a messy one, with snow starting on Thursday morning, spreading northward across the province, and eventually changing over to rain, in some parts, later in the day or night.
Winds are expected to strengthen from the east, with gusts of 90 km/h or more along coastal areas. The department noted that strong winds combined with the snow can lead to poor visibility and blowing snow.
The department also cautioned to keep watch for potential storm surges along Atlantic coastal areas at high tide. Larger than normal waves, and elevated water levels in coastal areas will persist until Friday.
In anticipation of the potentially ugly weather on Thursday, Nova Scotia power is activating its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at 8 p.m.
“In preparation, we’re stationing powerline crews and forestry teams across the province, and we’re staffing up our Customer Care Centre,”
said Matt Drover, Nova Scotia Power’s storm lead.
The media release from Nova Scotia Power describes the ECO as a “nerve centre” for dealing with outrage restoration planning and response, staffed with employees that specialize in all aspects of the company.
The aim of the ECO is to respond to power outages as quickly as it is safe to do, Drover noted in the release.
“Based on the current track, we expect this storm to cause power outages across the province. The forecasted snow may make travel difficult, and could impede crews in early response to outages,” said Drover. “We encourage people to monitor their local weather forecasts and make preparations accordingly.”
The order that Nova Scotia Power attends to power outages is entailed in a series of phases. They include the following:
Phase 1 - Restoration of public safety issues and emergency situations
Phase 2 - Restoration of NS Power critical infrastructure such as transmission lines and substations
Phase 3 - Restoration of Emergency Management Office (EMO) critical infrastructure such as hospitals, shelters, and essential provincial and municipal services
Phase 4 - Restoration of main electrical feeders servicing communities and neighbourhoods
Phase 5 - Restoration of branch power lines servicing individual streets
Phase 6 - Restoration of individual homes and businesses