Wet and slippery forecast with risk of power outages

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NS Emergency Management is recommending people have an emergency kit ready to help them through 72 hours. It should include: batteries, flashlight, food, water, blankets, cell numbers for important contacts.

By Jonathan Riley DIGBY COURIER NovaNewsNow.com

There’s a lot of precipitation about to fall on Digby County – the questions is what kind of precipitation: rain or freezing rain or most probably both.

The most recent models put Digby on the line of getting either a lot of rain or a lot of rain and freezing rain.

The Environment Canada forecast is calling for 30 to 40 mm of rain for Digby tomorrow starting after midnight tonight. Environment Canada is only giving a low of +5 C for Digby County but does now cite a risk of freezing rain inland.

The weather system, moving north currently, will shift southward overnight spreading freezing rain over most of the province.

It appears the valley and central areas of Nova Scotia will be the worst hit by the freezing rain. There are indications that these regions could see 12 plus hours and up to 40 millimetres of freezing rain

Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning for Annapolis County with freezing rain and ice pellets forecast to persist until late Sunday evening.

The Emergency Management Office of Nova Scotia (EMO) has issued a press release asking Nova Scotians to prepare for the possibility of a significant freezing rain event.

It says the heavy rain followed by a sudden drop in temperature could affect power lines and make driving dangerous.

"It's a busy time of year for many people, but I want to encourage Nova Scotians to take time to make emergency preparations," said Lena Diab, Minister responsible for EMO. "Everyone should have an emergency kit ready with essentials to last at least 72 hours."

Geoff MacLellan, the minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal says crews and winter equipment will be out in full force.

"Based on the weather reports we're hearing now, staff expect clearing the roads will be a challenge because of the fluctuating temperatures,” he said. “Road conditions could still be extremely slippery during the periods of rain and freezing, especially on local gravel roads. We urge you to stay off the roads altogether if you can."

Digby mayor Ben Cleveland said the town’s public works crews made a point Friday of clearing storm drains and sidewalks and crews will be active all weekend dealing with whatever does fall from the sky.

If people must travel, motorists are advised to check road conditions by phoning 511, viewing provincial highway cameras online or by visiting http://511.gov.ns.ca/ .

Twitter will also be used to distribute information. Follow at @nsemo for emergency information or @NS_TIR for road condition or closure updates or @DigbyNews for both and more.

"RCMP are reminding motorists to listen to weather forecasts and plan ahead," said RCMP Sgt. Alain LeBlanc. "If you must travel, remember to refrain from using cruise control on icy roads, keep your vehicle lights on, and mirrors and windshield clean of snow."

As the freezing rain may result in power outages, Nova Scotians are encouraged to prepare an emergency kit that includes at least two litres of water per person per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight and portable radio, and a first-aid kit. For more information on preparation visit http://novascotia.ca/emo .

The Courier welcomes information from our readers about conditions  around Digby County.

Let us know on Facebook, via Twitter or by email.

jriley@digbycourier.ca

Organizations: Environment Canada, EMO, Emergency Management Office of Nova Scotia RCMP

Geographic location: Digby County, Nova Scotia, Annapolis County

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