Post tropical Hurricane Noel

Nova Scotia - Nov. 02 - Nov. 06, 2007


Hurricane Noel was the deadliest hurricane of the 2007 Atlantic season, having caused at least 148 deaths, mostly in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. It then blasted north and made the transition from a tropical storm to a potent nor'easter that pounded Nova Scotia on Nov 4th with hurricane force winds, heavy rain and giant waves.

I chased Noel in Nova Scotia with fellow chasers Mark Robinson and Mike Theiss. We documented its effects in various parts of the province. The most impressive part of the storm was the gigantic waves that it produced at Peggy's Cove.

The trip started with a 24 hour drive from Toronto to Nova Scotia where we then decided to head for the most exposed area in the southern part of the province. We scouted numerous locations in Clarkes Harbour and waited for the storm to arrive. We were then met up with by Mike Theiss who flew all the way from Florida for this chase. Towards dusk, we went out and photographed the waves as they started to pick up.

Following a tip, we waited until the middle of the night, then repositioned ourselves north to Peggy's Cove. It was not easy to get there with the high winds, and water being blown over the road. At one point, I had to walk ahead of the vehicles and clear rocks and other debris that had been washed up onto the road. Of course, there was the risk of being hit by new debris since the waves were still cresting and blowing overtop the road.

At daybreak, we finally made it to Peggy's Cove lighthouse and the waves were insane. Some of the larger ones wee easily 120 feet high, possibly much larger. There were huge boulders sitting in the middle of the parking lot where they had been tossed by the violent ocean. I have never seen such powerful waves before.



Driving into position through high winds and rain.

Arriving at Peggy's Cove in the middle of the night, we find the roads blocked with rocks, debris and seaweed.



Water pouring over the road near Peggy's Cove. At times, the water would rise and surge up.

Chunks of asphalt ripped up by the waves as they crash over the rocks and slam the parking lot. notice the boulder in the background that was flung there by the waves.



Water damage at the fishing harbour.

Rocks and other debris strewn across the road. we had to clear a path at night to get the vehicles through this area.



Now this is what I need.

Children in Halifax posing on top of an uprooted tree.

Storm Path

The storm track from the National Hurricane Center showing Noel in the Bahamas, heading towards Nova Scotia