HomeWorldAs for the NS bracket for Fiona, here's how she might compare...

As for the NS bracket for Fiona, here’s how she might compare to Juan and DorianSEDI News

As Hurricane Fiona slams into Nova Scotia, officials warn the coming storm could be one for the history books.

- Advertisement -

Hurricane and tropical storm warnings are in effect as Fiona is expected to make landfall on eastern mainland Nova Scotia or western Cape Breton early Saturday morning after strengthening into a severe post-tropical storm Friday night.

Although it will no longer be classified as a hurricane, Fiona is still expected to bring hurricane-force winds and more than 200 millimeters of rain in some areas.

read more:

Hurricane Fiona will accelerate, bringing ‘hurricane force winds’ to Atlantic Canada

At a news conference on Thursday, the minister responsible for the Office of Emergency Management, John Lohr, said Fiona was expected to be a “significant and historic” weather event.

Story continues below Advertisement

While Nova Scotians have plenty of experience preparing for hurricanes — including Teddy in 2020, which didn’t have much of an impact — Lohr urged everyone to take Fiona seriously.

“Fiona is different. All questions about whether this storm will happen are gone. We are certain now,” he said.

read more:

Cape Breton in ‘direct impact zone’ for Hurricane Fiona, warns mayor

Bob Robichaud, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, also warned Thursday about Fiona’s effects.

“Once it’s all said and done, people will definitely remember Fiona for a long time,” he said.

Bigger than Juan, stronger than Dorian

When Nova Scotian think of hurricanes, it’s likely that two in particular come to mind: Juan in 2003 and Dorian in 2019.

Juan made landfall in Halifax shortly after midnight on September 29, 2003 as a Category 2 hurricane, bringing with it sustained winds of 157 km/h, rain, storm surge, and large waves.

The storm also claimed eight lives: three in house fires caused by candles used during the power outage, a motorist in Enfield and a Halifax paramedic who were killed by falling trees, two fishermen whose boat capsized in the Gulf. St. Lawrence, and a relief worker who died weeks after the storm.

Story continues below Advertisement

Thousands of trees were blown down in Halifax's Point Pleasant Park after Hurricane Juan.

Thousands of trees were blown down in Halifax’s Point Pleasant Park after Hurricane Juan.

Jim Abraham and Chris Fogarty/Environment Canada

Scientists called Juan a once-in-50-year storm and the most “damaging storm” in Halifax’s modern history, with an estimated 100 million trees uprooted, snapped or toppled around.

Dorian, meanwhile, made landfall in Halifax shortly after 7 p.m. on September 7, 2019, as a post-tropical storm, after wreaking havoc in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and the eastern United States.

While no one was killed in Halifax, wind gusts reaching speeds of around 150 km/h downed trees and power lines across the region, leaving thousands in the dark.

By far the most iconic image of the storm in Halifax was a fallen crane that shut down part of downtown Halifax for months.

Click to play video: 'Hurricane Dorian: Video captures moment crane collapses in downtown Halifax during storm'

Hurricane Dorian: Video captures moment crane collapses in downtown Halifax during storm

Hurricane Dorian: Video captures moment crane collapses in downtown Halifax during storm – Sep 7, 2019

On Thursday, Robichaud said that Fiona has characteristics of both Juan and Dorian.

Story continues below Advertisement

While Juan had stronger winds than Dorian, the 2003 storm was concentrated in a smaller area.

In Fiona’s case, the storm will be widespread, covering a “fairly large area” like Dorian, but with stronger winds.

“This storm will be larger in size compared to what Juan was, but probably a little bit stronger than what we saw with Dorian as well,” Robichaud said.

That being said, Robichaud noted that it’s a “difficult thing” to compare hurricanes.

“Really, every storm is different,” he said. “It depends on things like the speed of the storm, the exact track of the storm, the intensity of how it moves through.”

‘It’s always a guessing game’

Erica Fleck, Halifax Regional Municipality’s assistant chief of emergency management, said whenever a major incident happens, the municipality conducts a review to determine what went wrong and what went right.

“We take both the good and the bad, and then we improve from there,” she said.

Flake said the mayor and council were trained earlier this month to go over legal obligations and bylaws, which she said were “one of the biggest gaps” during Hurricane Juan.

“Dorian, we did a lot of good and we did a lot of things right, but we always miss things, because it’s always a guessing game,” she said.

Story continues below Advertisement

“We just continue to improve and evolve as we go along.”

read more:

Hurricane Fiona: Cancellations list as Nova Scotia braces for storm

Meanwhile, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said construction sites are being asked to secure cranes and building materials to avoid another crane situation like the one we saw with Dorian in 2019.

Savage said the Department of Labor would be the governing body for that.

Minister Lohr added: “I am sure crane owners are well aware of the consequences and risks and how to protect their cranes and have a great interest in doing so.

“So we would expect them to take all precautions.”

— with files from Global News

© 2022 Global News, a division of Chorus Entertainment Inc.