Despite the aggressive winds and rain from post-tropical cyclone Lee on Saturday, dozens of people still flocked to Peggy’s Cove to watch waves rise several metres and crash onto the shoreline near the famous lighthouse.
A security guard was present at the lighthouse site Saturday morning to escort people away from potentially hazardous areas near the water. as waves continued to break.
Earlier in the day, Halifax Regional Municipality released a statement saying that Peggy’s Cove had since been closed to the public.
“Residents are advised to avoid shoreline areas as they pose an extreme risk, especially during peak tides,” the statement read.
In addition to Peggy’s Cove, the Eastern Shore, and Bedford, Halifax and Dartmouth Waterfronts were all listed as areas of significant concern.
Although waves continued to crash and make their way over the shoreline, not everyone decided to err on the side of caution — as dozens headed to the Halifax waterfront to get a first-hand glimpse of the storm’s impact.
One man decided to take it another step further by doing a flip into the harbour in a full-body swimsuit.
During a news conference on Saturday afternoon, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage doubled down on calls to avoid the shorelines and urged locals to stay away from the coast.
Post-tropical storm Lee: Halifax mayor warns people to stay away from water’s edge
“This is no time to go wave watching,” he said, adding that seawater, downed trees, and power lines have blocked several roads in the Halifax area.
“Stay away from the waters … for your own safety and the safety of first responders that might be called to assist. I can’t stress that urgently enough.”
Savage said he had seen images of people crowding around the Halifax waterfront to witness the waves crashing and described the activity as “unnecessary and dangerous.”
Stephen Kiley, who lives in Shad Bay, said he was checking on some family in the Prospect Bay area when he decided to take a trip down to the shore.
“This is par for the course, we get everything here … we’re as far out as you can get,” he said, adding he was about to depart as police were advising him to vacate the area.
In a social media statement from RCMP, police said they were receiving reports of people driving to the shoreline to watch waves and advised motorists to stay off the roads.
“This action is putting themselves at risk along with first responders in the event of rescue attempts,” police said.
As of noon on Saturday, Lee was about 90 kilometres southwest of Yarmouth, N.S., with the centre of the storm on track to arrive later in the afternoon, Environment Canada said in an update. Its impact is likely to be felt within a radius of several hundred kilometres.
— With files from Global News’ Rebecca Lau and Callum Smith
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