Lisa Varano, staff writer
January 21, 2011 — People in the Maritimes say recent storms have caused some of the worst damage the region has ever seen.
In coastal areas vulnerable to storm surge, people are worried. The type of damage that used to strike once in a lifetime could now hit the Maritimes every few years, if predictions are correct.
“If you look at climate change science, we expect that in the future storms might be a bit more intense -- due to more energy available from the warmer oceans,” says Rheal Daigle, who studies storm surge.
He says sea levels are higher than they used to be, and they're also rising faster than expected.
The World Meteorological Organization says 2010 is tied for the warmest on record with two other recent years.
Last year came to a stormy end in the Maritimes. Week after week in December, powerful storms pummelled the region, causing extensive damage.
In New Brunswick, dangerous storm surge destroyed boardwalks, washed out roads, flooded buildings, and ultimately produced more than 1,100 disaster assistance claims.
Politicians have praised Atlantic Canadians for being resilient, while acknowledging that people have grown storm-weary.
“We know how devastating these events have been for many New Brunswick residents,” says New Brunswick's public safety minister, Robert Trevors, in a statement.
Once again, a rapidly intensifying system is taking aim at Atlantic Canada. The latest storm is both a nor'easter and a weather bomb.