AMHERST – Cumberland County’s chief EMO officer is urging people to take seriously the massive winter storm hitting the region on Thursday.
Mike Johnson said the snow was just getting started in the Amherst area around noon, and it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
“While the amount of snow forecast to fall has been reduced a bit, there’s still a lot coming in a short time before it turns to rain tonight,” Johnson said. “With the wind, as strong as it will be, there will be power outages and when you lose your power it could be for a while.”
Johnson said the snow will fall heavily for several hours Thursday afternoon and into the evening and suggested people get to where they need to be and hunker down for the duration of the storm.
The storm’s impacts are already being felt along the South Shore and in the Halifax Regional Municipality where several thousand people were already without power – a little more than a week after a wind and rainstorm knocked out power to more than 100,000.
Johnson said this storm could be as intense any major storm in the area’s history and he said it has a lot of similarity to the February 2015 storm that caused a lot of damage and knocked out power to a lot of people.
“We won’t have the snowfall that storm had, but the winds were more than 100 km/h and there’s every indication they will blow that strong with this storm,” Johnson said. “It’s not something to be taken lightly.”
Johnson suggested that, like every other storm, people be prepared for power outages. It’s also a good time to make sure there isn’t anything lying around your yard that could get blown around by the wind.
The regional EMO office has set up a Facebook page that it will continue to update at Cumberland Regional Emergency Management. He said bulletins will be posted to that site about the opening of shelters or warming/comfort centres should the need arise.