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Tropical Storm Earl Makes Landfall in Nova Scotia

Saturday, 04 September 2010 11:07 AM

Forecasters say Tropical Storm Earl has made landfall near Western Head, Nova Scotia.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm came ashore around 10 a.m. EDT, and its maximum sustained winds are near 58 mph (93 kph).

A hurricane watch was in effect for Nova Scotia from Port Lhebert to Point Tupper. A tropical storm warning was in effect for Nova Scotia's coast, Prince Edward Island and parts of New Brunswick.

The storm that was once a hurricane brushed past the eastern U.S. over the past few days with less intensity than had been feared.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

YARMOUTH, Massachusetts (AP) — In the end, Hurricane Earl wasn't even as bad as some of the no-name storms that pound New England from time to time.

The storm, far less intense than feared, brushed past the Northeast and dumped heavy, wind-driven rain on Cape Cod cottages and fishing villages, but caused little damage. It left clear, blue skies in its wake, the perfect start to the Labor Day weekend.

The worst of the damage in Massachusetts amounted to a few hundred power outages, a handful of downed power lines and isolated flooding. The storm didn't make much of an impression on the dozen people who stayed overnight at a Red Cross shelter on the Cape.

"Everybody was ready for something big to happen," said Red Cross worker Harry Watling. "But when it came, most of us hardly even noticed."

After skimming past both North Carolina and Massachusetts, Earl was expected to finally make landfall Saturday morning in Nova Scotia.

Power outages were spreading across the southern part of the province and there were numerous flight cancellations. Police said the road to the popular Peggy's Cove tourist site near Halifax was closed to keep curious storm-watchers away from the dangerous, pounding surf.

Earl swooped into New England waters Friday night as a tropical storm with winds of 70 mph (110 kph) after sideswiping North Carolina's Outer Banks, where it caused flooding but no injuries and little damage. The rain it brought to Cape Cod, Nantucket Island and Martha's Vineyard was more typical of the storms that residents have been dealing with for generations — except this one disrupted the unofficial last weekend of summer.

Winds on Nantucket blew at around 30 mph (50 kilometer) , with gusts above 40 mph (65 kilometer). The island got more than 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain, while adjacent Martha's Vineyard got more than 4 inches (10 centimeters). Hyannis, home to Kennedy compound, got about 4.5 inches (11 centimeters).

Nantucket, the well-to-do resort island and old-time whaling port, briefly saw some localized flooding, but it cleared within hours, Nantucket Assistant Town Manager Gregg Tivnan said.

Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said the damage was so minimal on Cape Cod and the islands that the agency didn't send out assessment teams as planned Saturday morning.

"There's nothing to assess at this point," he said. "It wasn't even a really bad rainstorm."

Judge said power outages peaked at about 1,800 but were down to a few hundred early Saturday and were being quickly restored. He said the state shut down its emergency management center as of 7 a.m. (1100 GMT) Saturday.

In the hours and days before the storm, vacationers had pulled their boats from the water and canceled Labor Day weekend reservations on Nantucket. Shopkeepers boarded up their windows. Beachgoers were warned to stay out of the New England waters — or off the beach altogether — because of the danger of getting swept away by high waves.

Airlines canceled dozens of flights into New England, and Amtrak suspended train service between New York and Boston.

Massachusetts officials estimated that Cape Cod lost about 10 percent of its expected Labor Day weekend business, but were hopeful that last-minute vacationers would make up for it. Gov. Deval Patrick walked around Chatham on Saturday morning, proclaiming, "The sun is out and the Cape is open for business."

As of 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT), Earl's center was located about 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia, and was moving northeast at 30 mph (50 kilometer) . The Canadian Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch in Nova Scotia from Ecum Secum to Point Tupper.

Though the National Hurricane Center in Miami downgraded Earl to a tropical storm, Canadian officials were still calling it a marginal category 1 hurricane.

John Parker of the Canadian Hurricane Centre said there's little difference.

"Our concern here is that we're still seeing a fairly good eye," Parker said. He said tree branches and utility lines could be knocked down.

Tropical storms typically weaken when they enter the colder waters between Maine and Canada, but many Nova Scotia residents stocked up on bottled water and canned goods, fearing a repeat of 2003, when Hurricane Juan killed eight and caused millions of dollars in damage.

The storm weakened faster than predicted and would continue to diminish, National Weather Service meteorologist Rebecca Gould said.

Earl dulled quickly over the course of 36 hours. By midday Friday, it had dropped to a Category 1 storm — down from a fearsome Category 4 with 145 mph (235 kilometer) winds a day earlier. At 11 p.m. (0300 GMT, Saturday), it was downgraded to a tropical storm.


Associated Press writers Rob Gillies in Halifax, Nova Scotia; David Sharp in Lubec, Maine; and Jay Lindsay and Rodrique Ngowi in Boston contributed to this report.

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Forecasters say Tropical Storm Earl has made landfall near Western Head, Nova Scotia.The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm came ashore around 10 a.m. EDT, and its maximum sustained winds are near 58 mph (93 kph).A hurricane watch was in effect for Nova...
Saturday, 04 September 2010 11:07 AM
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