Canadian Dealers Brace for Hurricane Irene

According to Environment Canada, Hurricane Irene is expected to make landfall near Long Island, NY on Sunday afternoon affecting Eastern Canada late Sunday into Monday as it becomes post-tropical.

At the moment, Environment Canada is saying that it’s too early to know exactly what wind speeds are likely to be in Atlantic Canada. However, the organization says it’s quite likely that sustained tropical storm force winds (60-plus kilometres an hour) will spread over much of the Maritime Provinces and eastern portions of Quebec.

Environment Canada also notes that many parts of Eastern Canada have received above normal rainfall this summer, which could raise the risk of flooding.

Some marine dealers have already made preparations for the storm.

“We’ve pulled a couple of things from the water, but mainly we’re just double tying ropes on boats,” says Roger Funder, Service Manager of Seamasters Marine Service in Dartmouth, NS. “We’ve mainly pulled out shop boats and smaller vessels that were easy to get out. We have on-site staff that’s here 24 hours a day who will be monitoring throughout the storm. In 2003, Hurricane Juan created a tidal surge that tore away some of our wharf and ended up taking boats and leaving them on shore. Juan was more-or-less a direct hit into Halifax, where this is just going to be the remnants of the Irene’s outer skirts from what we can tell so far.”

Quartermaster Marine in Charlottetown, PE, which has about 120 boats in the water, has also made preparations in the event the hurricane becomes a problem but isn’t too worried at moment. “We have an evacuation plan that was drawn up a few years ago depending on the category of the hurricane and what path they expect it to take,” says Randy Monaghan, Quartermaster Marine’s Service Manager. “The way the path is showing right now, we’re leaving everything alone. If we do need to evacuate, we normally just put the boats in the parking lot down at the marina waterfront so they can go back in once the storm passes.”