Preparing for Lee’s impact

by | Sep 12, 2023

Hurricane’s remnants force organizers to revamp weekend’s Canterbury Days schedule

The remnants of Hurricane Lee will deliver wind and rain to Carleton County and western New Brunswick on Saturday, Sept. 16. But how much of either remains unknown.

“We are anticipating it to affect Woodstock and western New Brunswick,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Jill Maepea, but added “uncertainty’ remains about the level of impact.

She said forecasters are confident Lee will weaken significantly as it tracks into the colder waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, but its size and impact area will grow dramatically.

Maepae said almost all weather models forecast a direct hit across Atlantic Canada, but the level of impact remains elusive.

She said the Woodstock and Carleton County region should prepare for heavy rain on Saturday and potential wind gusts as high as 80 km/hr. She noted current forecasts indicate New Brunswick’s most profound impact occurring east of Woodstock.

Regardless of its strength, Lee projects to be an unwanted guest to planned Canterbury Days activities on Saturday.

Lakeland Ridges Mayor Tanya Cloutier said Saturday’s pending bad weather forced festival organizers to cancel some events and move others ahead to Friday evening.

While disappointed to lose Saturday’s celebration, Cloutier still expects a fantastic Friday evening, Sept. 15. 

She said vendors planning to attend Saturday’s market are welcome to set up booths around the evening’s other events on Friday.

“The parade Saturday is cancelled, but we are working on a plan for something possibly for Friday evening as well,” said Cloutier. “This is truly disappointing as so much work goes into these events, but Friday night is going to be amazing.”

Cloutier said one Saturday event remains.

The Canadian Champion of Magic, Nathaniel Rankin, will perform Saturday evening from 6 to 8 at the Canterbury Community Centre.

Friday’s revamped lineup at the community centre, starting at 6 p.m., includes a corn boil, axe throwing for adults and children, a petting zone, line dancing a bonfire, and live music by Jason Shaw, Trevor Lawson, Tasha Doherty and Tanya Cloutier.

Weather permitting, the musicians will break around 9:30 for a fireworks show.

Cloutier said Canterbury Days organizers will monitor the weather forecasts to determine if more changes are needed.

Maepae acknowledged the forecasts could change as storms like Hurricane Lee become hard to predict.

She advised residents to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

“I’d rather be prepared,” she said.

While Environment Canada will issue advisories in the next couple of days, Maepae said a weather warning, if needed, probably won’t happen until at least Friday.

While Lee will not come close to the ferocity of Fiona last year, Maepae said even the projected wind speeds of up to 80 km/hr could cause power failures or topple trees.

She noted New Brunswick trees are still in “full foliage” this time of year, making them more susceptible to the wind.

Maepae said Environment Canada is tracking Lee and all other potential weather events on an ongoing basis. 

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