Halifax’s emergency management fears residents are not taking the dangers of a storm seriously as post-tropical storm Teddy makes its way through Nova Scotia.
Despite warnings from provincial and municipal authorities, some residents still made their way to the shore to watch the waves come in.
“We had reports yesterday that children were hiding behind the rocks and their parents were watching the waves roll over them… obviously very very dangerous,” says HRM’s emergency manager, Erica Fleck.
“Riptide is considered deadly.”
In a provincial preparedness briefing, Chuck Porter, the minister responsible for the provincial Emergency Management Office, said his biggest concern was the threat of storm surges accompanied by 10-metre waves.
“I know people are attracted to the shoreline and they love to watch the waves,” Porter said.
“I want to caution folks: please stay back. If you get trapped out there, somebody has to come and try to rescue you, putting people in jeopardy unnecessarily.”
The Canadian Hurricane Centre’s Bob Robichaud said the same.
“Over the last number of years, we’ve lost a lot of people who have gone to the coast to watch those waves,” Robichaud said on Tuesday. “That’s what we need to avoid with this particular storm.”
Fleck says she believes people didn’t see drastic storm impacts overnight, but it is still dangerous.
“(It) will continue to be dangerous throughout the day, as we currently have eight-metre waves on the eastern shore,” Fleck says.
“We feel there may be a bit of complacency this morning; we’ve already seen accidents occurring.”
Fleck says the emergency office received a report of a three-foot-deep and 60-foot-long puddle on Highway 103 that caused a three-car collision early Wednesday morning.
There were no injuries, she says, but people need to stay cautious.
Tuesday afternoon, the HRM advised residents in the Sambro area and along the eastern shore to self-evacuate based on risk assessment.
Fleck says 15 families registered as self-evacuated, but she believes more people had left their homes and lodged with friends and family in lower-risk areas without registering.