Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Heavy rain is hitting southwestern Newfoundland. (Peter Cowan / CBC)

Heavy rain is beginning to move over southwestern Newfoundland, where meteorologists predict will be an “unprecedented” weather event.

“For me, it’s the first time I’ve seen a rainstorm like this. It’s almost eerily similar to what happened to BC just a few weeks ago, when the atmospheric river just pumped lots of moisture into the air,” said Veronica Sullivan from Environment Canada’s Weather Office in Gander.

“I do not think we will see such a bad effect here as what happened in BC, but it will still be something to look at and it will break a lot of weather records.”

Sullivan said the Port aux Basques area can expect 150 to 200 millimeters of rain on Tuesday, and in areas with higher terrain more than 300 mm is expected.

She said some weather models suggest that the total rainfall may even reach 400 mm in high altitude areas, and although the actual rainfall may be much less, the water will flow downward from the mountain areas and can significantly affect the water level below.

“It’s going to be something to watch. Heavy rain, really strong wind. It’s really not going to be a good time to travel down there,” Sullivan told CBC Radio’s St. John’s morning show.

“[It’s] very likely there will be some leaching and local flooding. “

The wind in the Wreckhouse area is expected to reach 150 km / h all Tuesday and 160 km / h at night. The wind is expected to subside overnight, but is expected to pick up again on Wednesday morning.

But strong winds will not be unique to the wreckage, Sullivan said. She said the entire west coast of the island will feel strong gusts of wind.

Preparing for the storm

Port aux Basque Mayor Brian Button said on Sunday he realized the storm would require a lot of attention, and sent an email to councilors.

“It’s pretty much since then we’ve been trying to prepare,” he said.

City workers have checked storm drains and potential areas of impact. The city has also checked in with fire and police services to make sure everyone is prepared, Button said.

Heavy seas are rising off the coast of southwestern Newfoundland. (Troy Turner / CBC)

Low-lying areas throughout Port aux Basques are the biggest concern for the community, Button said, but the strong winds and the heavy rainfall on the road have put the whole city on track.

“Let’s take all the precautions we can. If they have problems, call them by all means. Try to get hold of City Hall or someone in town, myself, anyone,” he said.

“There will probably be a large number of calls. So you can expect delays before we can get there, or return to them. It can be a couple of very frustrating days for people.”

Five schools in western Newfoundland closed for the morning in anticipation of the storm. An update from Newfoundland and Labrador English School District is expected at. 10:30 NT. The College of the North Atlantic campus in Port aux Basques is also closed in the morning.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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