Hurricane Larry is expected to bring 130 km/h winds, heavy rain and high sea levels Friday night for parts of eastern Newfoundland. (Ashley Brauweiler/CBC)
Environment Canada issued a hurricane watch alert Thursday morning for the St. John’s area and the southeastern Avalon Peninsula, saying Hurricane Larry has the potential to bring fierce conditions to parts of the island Friday night.
Hurricane Larry is expected to unleash wind gusts up to 130 km/h along parts of the coast.
“Right now the track is taking the hurricane pretty well across the centre of the Avalon Peninsula, which means St. John’s and areas east of that are likely to see some pretty strong winds,” said meteorologist Tiffany Cheeks of Environment Canada’s weather office in Gander.
“Then areas to the west, we’ve got a tropical storm watch. That’s for the western Avalon and from the Burin Peninsula up to the Bonavista Peninsula. They’re looking at wind gusts up to 100 km/h there.”
While conditions will be fairly calm during the day, things will change dramatically into the evening and overnight.
Rhonda Kenney, director of disaster management for the Canadian Red Cross Atlantic region, says it’s a good idea to secure your property — including trampolines, like this one damaged in a 2011 hurricane — ahead of Friday’s storm. (Courtesy of Kim Newman)
Cheeks said Larry will be a fast-moving storm, which will mean that rainfall will at least be short-lived. However, that rain will be heavy and intense.
CBC meteorologist Ashley Brauweiler said parts of the island, from the Avalon Peninsula to central Newfoundland, can expect 20 to 50 millimetres of rain between Friday night and Saturday morning.
Saturday is expected to remain windy, according to Cheeks.
“As the hurricane moves further out to sea, things should die down and it will calm down a little after that,” she said.
“Right now it looks like it’s going to be fairly fast-moving, so it should just be major impacts Friday night.”
Cheeks said the southern Avalon Peninsula and Burin Peninsula should keep an eye out for a storm surge warning that may be issued later on Thursday, with high sea levels and pounding surf expected for those areas.
The ocean swell will arrive Thursday, but the waves will become particularly large as the storm reaches Newfoundland, said Brauweiler.
How to prepare
Rhonda Kenney, director of disaster management for the Canadian Red Cross Atlantic region, says residents should take advantage of sunny weather on Thursday to prepare for whatever Hurricane Larry throws their way Friday.
Kenney said the first step is making sure things are secured around your own property, such as patio furniture, barbecues and trampolines.
The next step is preparing on a personal level. Make sure there’s adequate drinking water available for a 72-hour period, food, flashlights, a portable radio, cash and even personal documents in the event you need to be evacuated, Kenney said.
“A good idea that while you’re taking care of your own individual and family needs [is] that you keep an eye out for your neighbours. They may need some support or assistance locking down some of those items,” she said.
The most important step, while the storm is at its peak, is to stay at home and not go outside at all, said Kenney.
She said even when the storm is over, people should remain at home while officials ensure the safety of the community and roadways.
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