2003 September 28

Hurricane Juan

My parents are going to get hit with a hurricane tonight, possibly even dead centre. Hurricane Juan is forecast to make landfall somewhere between Mahone Bay (south of Halifax) and Ecum Secum (north of Halifax) as a Category 1 storm. They don't get as far north as Halifax very often, maybe once every ten to fifteen years, and I personally have missed all of them, for one reason or another.

They live right on the coast, but Herring Cove is ridiculously sheltered anchorage, so we're not too worried about the 10-12 m (30-40') wave action forecast. But they're also forecasting a 1.5 m tidal surge on top of an already-high 1.7 m equinoctial tide, which may bring it above the deck of the dock my father spent most of the summer working on. That would probably float it, and thus wreck the foundations. Also, the wind could destroy their greenhouse/sunroom, if it comes from the wrong direction. It survived the last hurricane (1996), but that may have been luck.

Anyway, it's supposed to make landfall around 6pm tonight. I'm going to be keeping an eye on the news.

Update: (12:30 AM Mon) I just got a call from my mother. Their power is out, but the phone still works. Halifax is getting hammered -- first direct hit by a hurricane in forty-three years. She says they've lost the greenhouse, but it's too dark and stormy to see what's happened to the dock. It's hard to believe it's not getting wrecked, though. Meanwhile, in the city, both bridges are closed to traffic, with sustained 100-km/h winds; evacuation orders are in for Sambro, Laurencetown and Sheet Harbour; and there are rumours that the storm surge is up over the wharves of the Historic Properties and into Lower Water Street -- probable record high water levels in Halifax Harbour.

hurricane juan satellite image

You hear about this stuff happening in faraway places, but it's just pretty pictures on TV until it happens someplace you know. I wish I was there right now.


Here's wishing no disaster visits your family tonight!

Posted by: Matt Ryan on September 28, 2003 07:57 PM
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