Updated: Arthur and 'sting jet' effect knock out power for thousands

Jennifer Hoegg
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When hurricane Arthur became post-tropical storm Arthur early July 5, he didn’t settle down much.

The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season had gusts of 120 km/h as a hurricane and 110 km/h  or more after its transformation. The high winds knocked down trees and power lines throughout the western end of the province, with thousands of Nova Scotia Power customers without electricity, including large outages through the Annapolis Valley and the Digby and Clare area. At 2 p.m. July 6, there were more than 22,000 customers without power in Kings County, 6,300 in Annapolis County and almost 12,000 out in the Digby area.

According to the Canadian Hurricane Centre, the storm merged with a cold front, similar to what happened with hurricane Igor hit Newfoundland four years ago.

“When a hurricane becomes a post-tropical storm, it is not always a ‘downgrade,’” the July 6 summary from the centre noted. “In fact, when these storms undergo the transformation to post-tropical status, the area of high winds (and rain) expands signifincantly.”

Instead of diminishing, the storm’s energy spread out, battering most of the Maritimes for more than 24 hours.

More stories and photos from western Nova Scotia here and get up-to-date information the TC Media live blog.

Strong winds continued long after the centre of Arthur reached land near Meteghan, Digby County, at breakfast time morning as a strong post-tropical storm.

By supper Saturday, winds were still rocking the Valley area. Greenwood, Kings County, recorded a gust of 138 km/h in the early evening.

What affected western Nova Scotia was a “sting jet,” the CHC says, or strong winds just left, or west, of the storm’s centre.

Arthur was “exceptional” in how much of an effect the northwest winds had, both in the Fredericton area and the Valley, the centre said

Maximum wind gusts in km/h

Greenwood          138

Brier Island        128

Five Islands        127

Yarmouth            111

Lunenburg           108

Charlottetown       105

Fredericton         100


Power outages as of 5:45 p.m. July 6

Bridgetown (5631)Bridgewater (10992)Caledonia (1892)Clare (3852)Digby (8737)Kentville/Wolfville (10983)Kingston (8590)Liverpool (2295)Pubnico (832)Shelburne (3097)Yarmouth (3805)Amherst/North Shore (772)Bedford/Sackville (148)Chester (1333)Oxford/Pugwash (483)Parrsboro/Springhill/Noel Shore (881)Tatamagouche/Wentworth Valley (1972)Truro (779)Windsor (9315)New Glasgow/Pictou County (2935)

Organizations: Nova Scotia Power, TC Media

Geographic location: Digby, Nova Scotia, Kings Liverpool Shelburne North Shore Dartmouth Upper Musquodoboit Oxford Wentworth Valley Goshen New Glasgow Pictou County

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Recent comments

  • R. Swicker
    July 06, 2014 - 11:17

    Another bang-up job by NSP, glad to see our rising rates are paying for more reliable infrastructure and faster emergency response times. One week to prepare for this storm and instead of actually mobilizing an appropriate number of resources, the union representing the linemen were too busy telling us to prepare for extended wait times...or maybe they were promising us extended wait times so they could tighten the screws on their NSP overlords. No problem though, I'm sure Bob Hanf and the other NSP executives are enjoying their weekend in their Halifax-area homes...with plenty of power n doubt.

    • Bill Boyd
      July 06, 2014 - 21:02

      Echo all that. Absolutely outrageous that so many should be without power when there was so much advanced warning. So much for hardening the system. Will there be an inquiry into this. No - because profits will always come before people and our legislators are spineless.

    • Chris
      July 07, 2014 - 21:05

      You want to reduce power outages, bury the lines!