Thoms said light rain will continue, stronger winds expected
Hurricane Leslie seems to be winding down in Central Newfoundland, according to Herb Thoms, but stronger winds are approaching.
© Terri Saunders/The Beacon
Tropical storm Leslie passed through Gander Tuesday with little fanfare. Strong winds and patches of heavy rain weren't enough to cause any damage, resulting only in large pools of water on some town streets.
Mr. Thoms, a Gander-based Weather Preparedness Meteorologist with Environment Canada, said Gander, as of 11:15 a.m., Tuesday morning, received 43.6 millimetres of rain, with more than 30 mm falling in three hours.
“There was a little bit of rain (Monday) night, but not too much. We had about 1.2 millimetres before the rain from Leslie came, and we’re up to 43.6 mm now. What was interesting is the heaviest rain came down in a very short period of time, something like over 30 mm of rain came down in three hours. It came down pretty quickly,” said Mr. Thoms. “That’s what we’ve seen with the rainfall rates right around Leslie. When it hit the south coast, the Winterland area reported 50.5 mm in two hours. That’s the kind of thing we’re seeing just left of the track of Leslie as it comes up across the island.”
Although the rain fell in large amounts in a short period of time, there wasn’t much wind to accompany it.
However, Mr. Thoms was quick to point out that strong gusts of winds were on the way, and although Gander would bare the brunt of some of it, communities along the coast will get even more.
“We have gotten a little bit of wind. They got a lot of wind in the east, and I’m sure you’ve heard of the wind they received on the Avalon,” said Mr. Thoms. “We’ll get some gusts out of the northwest at 80 km/h very soon, certainly in the early afternoon or lunch hour we’re going to see the wind switch around. There’ll be a period of time where the gusts will possibly be even 90 km/h here in Gander, and as you go along the coast (around the loop), you’ll see gusts of 100 km/h.”
When asked if it was too soon to rule out flash flooding in the area, Mr. Thoms said that’s something you can never rule out, but added if it was going to happen, it probably would have happened already.
He said rain will continue to fall throughout the day, but it won’t be like what the area witnessed this morning.
“We’ll see some more light rain. The rain along Gander and along the northeast will linger well into the afternoon, but we’re not going to see the rainfall rate we saw earlier this morning. It’ll just be light rain come this afternoon,” he said. “They’ll (people around the loop) see similar rainfall amounts of 40, even 50 mm of rain in a short period of time, and gusts along the coast will likely be stronger than what we see inland. It’s not over yet, but it is winding down for most of us. The winds have shifted to the northeast, but we’ll see some gusts yet. The worst of the rainfall is over for us, but some areas along the coast will see some rain.”
“There’ll be a period of time where the gusts will possibly be even 90 km/h here in Gander, and as you go along the coast (around the loop), you’ll see gusts of 100 km/h.” Herb Thoms
The RCMP was ready to deal with the wrath of Hurricane Leslie, but, thankfully, no incidents were reported.
A number of RCMP officers reported heavy water on the roads in some areas of the region, but besides that, nothing serious happened.
In New-Wes-Valley, Cpl. Dale Lewis reported an unexpected quiet time during the morning period, with rain starting about 6 a.m.
Five hours later, he had not received a single report of property damage or an accident, and in his travels from Deadman’s Bay to Trinity he had not experienced extreme driving conditions.
“There’s water on the roads, but not an excessive amount…drivers still need to be careful,” he said. “It seems like people were prepared, and even though the winds were up they weren’t overly strong.
“I don’t think we received the weather people were predicting.”
It was similar in the Gander area, where Cnst. Joe Saulnier said there was nothing to report other than some excessive water in areas of the Trans Canada Highway between Glenwood and Benton.
“It’s important in times like this for drivers to keep their speed down until the rain stops and roads start to dry up.”
Leslie struck a little harder in the Eastport area than the remainder of the central region, as Cpl. Larry Turner reported a lot of water on the roads in the area, but there were no washouts or closures caused as a result.
In Gambo, a town that has been severely affected by floods in the past four years, Cpl. Turner said things were good.
“Joey’s Lookout is holding up good, and there’s been no problems at the bottom of the hill where the brook runs down,” he told The Beacon around 11 a.m. “The rain and wind have died down some and things are starting to dry up.”