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Ophelia pounds southeastern Newfoundland


Hilary Hagerman, staff writer

October 4, 2011 — Despite being downgraded to a post-tropical storm on Monday morning, Ophelia caused flooding and forced evacuation in Newfoundland. It made landfall somewhere near Argentia.

A state of emergency was declared in Belleoram, NL
A state of emergency was declared in Belleoram, NL

Heavy rain and strong winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia caused flooding and forced the evacuation of some homes in Newfoundland on Monday.

After maintaining hurricane strength over the weekend, Ophelia became a post-tropical storm on Monday morning. It ultimately made landfall as a post-tropical storm near Argentia.

Ophelia brought heavy rain and strong winds gusting up to 90 km/h. Rough waves were spotted in coastal areas, particularly on the Burin Peninsula.

A state of emergency was declared in Belleoram, where five houses were evacuated because of flooding, including the mayor's. However, police say roads in the area are still intact.

Flooding also washed out a bridge over Little Barasway Brook between Grand Bank and Marystown. Officials closed the school in nearby Rushoon because of flooding on the local roads. Police also closed the road between Lawn and St. Lawrence because of water damage.

“Some areas have received just over 60 mm of rain, which is pretty much on par with what was forecasted,” says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Peak wind gusts from Ophelia
Peak wind gusts from Ophelia

Several tropical storm warnings and rainfall warnings were in place Monday morning, but they have since ended.

Ophelia tracked offshore into the northern Grand Banks and beyond the Newfoundland Marine District Monday evening.

The worst of this storm is over, but Vettese says people in Newfoundland can still expect gloomy conditions for a few more days.

“Another low pressure system will move in on late Tuesday and early Wednesday,” she explains. “That will bring strong winds and more heavy rainfall.”

On Thursday, Ophelia became the 4th hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season. By Friday, it had strengthened into a major hurricane.

Earlier in the week, Ophelia caused flooding and cut off access to some communities on the Caribbean island of Dominica. About 1,600 people were stranded on the island, and nearly a dozen cars have washed away.

Visit The Weather Network's Tropical Storm Centre for any updates on the 2011 hurricane season.

With files from Lyndsay Morrison and CBC

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