As Hurricane Dorian barrels towards the maritimes, a couple from Virden is battening down the hatches and hoping for the best.
Peter Clements and Helen Brightman moved from Virden to Chester, Nova Scotia, seven years ago. Chester is located along the south coast of the island not far from Halifax -- exactly where the storm is expected to make landfall later today (Saturday, Sept. 7).
Brightman said both wind and rain have been strong all day today with the full impact of the hurricane expected Saturday evening or overnight. By mid-afternoon local time, the storm had regained Category 2 strength as it lashed into Nova Scotia.
Brightman and Clements are, she says, “as prepared as we can be.”
They’ve secured all their outdoor furniture and brought their potted plants inside. They’ve also prepared some meals in advance in case the power goes out.
“We have an emergency kit and placed lamps with batteries around the house in case of a power outage.” (In fact, as of Saturday afternoon, 200,000 Nova Scotians had already lost power.)
How does a hurricane compare to riding out a prairie blizzard at their former home nestled along the Assiniboine Valley north of Virden?
Brightman says, “We miss our basement, that’s where we would sit out the blizzard with the log burner.”
An eight- to 12-hour period of torrential rain with damaging winds is likely to occur as Dorian approaches and passes over the region. Storm surge will be a factor for the south coast, with flash flooding likely.
Dorian is said to be the worst storm to hit the Maritimes since the devastating Hurricane Juan in 2003.