Residents throughout the Maritimes are getting prepared as Hurricane Dorian continues its track to Canadian shores. As the storm draws nearer, Environment Canada has issued a Hurricane Warning for multiple areas throughout the East Coast. Now, the Halifax Government is encouraging people to evacuate the area if possible as the storm is expected to hit by the end of Saturday night with hurricane-like conditions.

According to Environment Canada, the storm is expected to hit Halifax by Saturday evening, bringing wind gusts up to 150 km/h, and waves as tall at 15m. Up to 150mm of rain are also expected in some areas around the Maritimes, meaning that flash flooding is also possible, as the storm moves through. 

Due to these conditions, the Halifax Government released a statement on Friday night, calling for a voluntary evacuation for anyone who lives near the shorelines of the city. 

The government states that these high waves and strong winds could create dangerous conditions for those who live near the water, including those in high-risk areas such as the Sambro area, Peggys Cove and the Eastern Shore.

While the evacuation is voluntary, which means residents can choose to stay in their homes if they wish to do so during the storm, the government is highly encouraging it. 

In a statement, the Halifax Government states, "While this is a voluntary evacuation, the municipality is urging everyone in high-risk areas to find alternative shelter arrangements for the weekend." 

However, it's not just the shorelines that will feel the brunt end of the storm this weekend. Environment Canada warns that the strong winds pose a threat to toppling trees and tearing down utility line. This may leave residents without power services for extended amounts of time. 

Environment Canada is reminding residents to secure loose objects on your property, and be aware of wind-blown debris, downed power lines, and dangerous shorelines if you are outside. 

As the hurricane moves closer to the Maritimes, the entire East Coast is starting to shut down as multiple events and functions have been canceled or postponed for the weekend. 

On top of that, Meteorologist Anthony Farnell states that many restaurants and businesses around Halifax are remaining closed throughout the weekend as the storm blows through. 

The Red Cross will be opening evacuation shelters at noon this Saturday to help accommodate those who have evacuated their homes and are unable to find anywhere else to go. 

For more information on these shelters, you can visit the Halifax Government's website here. 

*Disclaimer: Cover photo used for illustrative purposes only. 

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