Teddy hits Canada with 60 mph winds, heavy rain

A satellite image of Teddy, a post-tropical storm that hit the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

Teddy made landfall in Nova Scotia as a post-tropical storm Wednesday morning, delivering heavy rain and 60 mph winds in the Canadian Maritimes province.

The storm spared the Port of Halifax a direct hit. Meanwhile, the impacts to trucking and CN rail operations remained unclear.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) reported flooding on several highways. Meanwhile, the Tancook Island and Lahave ferries were out of service because of the weather.

Teddy approached Nova Scotia as a Category 2 hurricane on Tuesday. Forecasters at the Canadian Hurricane Centre expected Teddy to make landfall as a powerful post-tropical storm.

Teddy brought winds of over 60 mph, posing a hazard for any tractor-trailers still on the roads.   

“We’re not going to be sending any trucks into the middle of this,” Todd Seyward, general manager of Classic Freight, told FreightWaves on Tuesday ahead of Teddy’s arrival. “Safety is our main concern.” 

The Nova Scotia-based intermodal and cross-border trucking company was leaving little to chance, Seyward said, adding that its safety managers were closely monitoring the storm and would reroute trucks based on conditions. The carrier was being particularly vigilant about keeping trucks with empty trailers away from heavy winds. 

“The whole fleet has been told: There are certain areas we can’t go with empty trailers,” he said. “It’s too great a risk.”

Early preparations for Teddy at Port of Halifax

The Port of Halifax began making preparations for Teddy on Friday. The port secured and moved equipment in anticipation of high winds and worked closely with terminal operators. 

“We’re feeling good about where things stand,” port spokesperson Lane Farguson told FreightWaves. 

No vessels had been scheduled to call on Halifax on Wednesday, minimizing any potential disruptions.

“We haven’t seen any major diversions,” he said. 

The storm’s path put it on course to impact the far eastern edge of CN’s rail network, which also serves the Port of Halifax.

A view of Teddy’s path through Canada’s Maritimes as seen on FreightWaves’ SONAR platform.

Teddy hit Canada’s Maritimes a little over a year after Hurricane Dorian hit the region in September 2019. It made landfall as a post-tropical storm but did considerable damage and left 300,000 residents without power. 

Historically, hurricanes have struck Canada about once every three years. But even without tropical storm systems, the region of Eastern Canada — consisting of the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island — regularly experiences harsh weather.

Parts of the Maritimes, including all of Prince Edward Island, also are only accessible via bridges or ferries.  

Trucking industry accustomed to dangerous weather

Jean-Marc Picard, president of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, said carriers were well prepared for the storm and stood ready to assist with disaster-relief loads should the need arise. 

“We’re used to it,” Picard said. “We’re a resourceful people.” 

But Picard said carriers and drivers from outside the Maritimes should use extreme caution while in the region, which can be prone to hazardous winds even in normal conditions.

“Sometimes they’re the ones who get their trucks blown over,” Picard said.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Nate Tabak

Supply chain braces as Hurricane Teddy nears Canada

How Walmart solved carrier payment woes in Canada with blockchain

Ransomware attack hits Canadian trucking company Manitoulin