The Canadian Imagination

What it means to be Canadian; examining and reworking Canada as a nation.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hurricane Kyle

Saint John and Halifax had three pieces of amazing fortune, which together allowed them to sidestep the worst effects of Kyle and avoid another Juan:
  • The path veered enough to avoid a head-on hit on a major city. While this does not help those in smaller, coastal communities, it does allow the anchor points of quick emergency response to remain relatively undisrupted.
  • Landfall did not coincide with the Bay of Fundy tidal bores, either in timing or in orientation relative to the hurricane.
  • Unlike the Gulf of Mexico and areas surrounding much of Florida and the Georgian coast, Atlantic coastal waters do not slide gradually up to shore along an increasingly shallow expanse of sand. Rather, they are deep almost right up to the coastline. This structure drastically cuts storm surge flooding, though it is still vulnerable to erosion.
  • Above all, Kyle never strengthened to the levels of Juan, and what strengthening there had been, further south, was eroded by the cold water just south of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. This turned it almost into a normal gale event with slightly heavier rain.
We were lucky, this time. We don't need to look so very far to remember what can happen when the luck runs out.


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