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1958-Helene

Legend of sources

On September 29, 1958, Helene passed over central Newfoundland during the afternoon with category one hurricane winds of 120 km/h (65 knots).

Rainfall image map of Hurricane Helene, which entered the Canadian Hurricane Centre Response Zone on September 28, 1958, and then Canadian waters shortly after midnight on September 29, 1958. Helene made landfall in Newfoundland later that afternoon and eventually left the Canadian Hurricane Centre Response Zone on September 30, 1958 and diminished on October 4, 1958. Maximum provincial rainfalls: 39.5 millimetres in New Brunswick, 78.5 m in Prince Edward Island, 88.5 millimetres in Nova Scotia and 77.5 millimetres in Newfoundland
Rainfall image map of Hurricane Helene, which entered the Canadian Hurricane Centre Response Zone on September 28, 1958, and then Canadian waters shortly after midnight on September 29, 1958. Helene made landfall in Newfoundland later that afternoon and eventually left the Canadian Hurricane Centre Response Zone on September 30, 1958 and diminished on October 4, 1958. Maximum provincial rainfalls: 39.5 millimetres in New Brunswick, 78.5 m in Prince Edward Island, 88.5 millimetres in Nova Scotia and 77.5 millimetres in Newfoundland

Helene formed east of the Lesser Antilles on September 21, 1958. It developed into a category four hurricane with winds as high as 213 km/hh (115 knot). Helene entered the CHC Response Zone on September 28th as a category three hurricane. Helene was at 158 km/h (85 knots) as it entered Canadian waters shortly after midnight on the 29th and had weakened further to a 120 km/h (65-knots) hurricane as it made landfall in Newfoundland later that afternoon. It brought high winds to the Maritimes that uprooted trees and knocked down telephone lines. It also smashed windows and buckled homes. Helene left the CHC Response Zone on September 30th and diminished on October 4th.

Hurricane Helene started tracking in the Canadian Hurricane Centre response zone heading north-northeast along the east coast and passed close to Cape Breton with winds of 64 knots southeast of storm centre. It then swung around Cape Breton and made landfall in southwestern Newfoundland and out through northern Newfoundland with 48 knot winds east and west of storm centre. It then turned northeast and out into the Atlantic. As it tracked through Atlantic Canada the storm reached a maximum wind speed of 70 knots, with an mslp of 963 millibar
Hurricane Helene started tracking in the Canadian Hurricane Centre response zone heading north-northeast along the east coast and passed close to Cape Breton with winds of 64 knots southeast of storm centre. It then swung around Cape Breton and made landfall in southwestern Newfoundland and out through northern Newfoundland with 48 knot winds east and west of storm centre. It then turned northeast and out into the Atlantic. As it tracked through Atlantic Canada the storm reached a maximum wind speed of 70 knots, with an mslp of 963 millibar

Nova Scotia

September 29, 1958

  • More than 25 mm (1 in) of rain fell in southern parts of the Maritimes (HH)
  • Expected to ‘sidestep’ Nova Scotia (HH)

September 30, 1958

  • Winds more than 80 km/h (44 knots) and the storm moved at 95 km/h (52 knots) across the Cabot Strait (HH)
  • ‘slammed unexpectedly into Nova Scotia’, especially Cape Breton (HH)
  • Immobilized Sydney; trees tumbled across main streets, store windows smashed, demolished cars, buckling homes, and even moving one house off its foundation (HH)
  • Estimated damage costs for Sydney alone: $100,000 (HH)
  • 500 to 700 people went without power for over 24 hours in Sydney (HH)
  • Worst storm for Cape Breton since 1936 or 1937 and possibly even the hurricane in 1927 that had 160 km/h (87 knots) winds (HH)
  • Only one telephone line was left as a source of communication from Cape Breton to the mainland (HH)
  • Several large trees were uprooted and blown down in Halifax/Dartmouth (HH)
  • A 35 m (114 ft) boat was run aground on Scatarie Island (ET)

Newfoundland

September 30, 1958

  • Bell Island was cut off from the rest of the island because of damaged piers and no boat service (ET)
  • 70 foreign and local ships sought refuge in St. John’s harbour (ET)
  • The United States navy station at Argentia had winds of 100 km/h (55 knots) with gust to 132 km/h (71 knots) (HH)
  • Numerous reports of property damage and minor damage, but no serious damage, injuries or loss of life (ET)
  • Estimated costs for Newfoundland damage was hundreds of thousands of dollars (ET)