Atlantic Canada mopped up after Fiona’s wrath


Lost homes, fallen trees and power outages are just some of the devastation the rainforest has brought

The atmosphere at Channel-Port aux Basques on September 27th was gloomy.

Fragments of walls and roofs of houses that were blown into the waters of Cabot Sound after the devastation wrought by Post-Tropical Storm Fiona still line the shores of this small community in southwestern Newfoundland and Labrador. I’m in.

“It’s like walking through a war zone,” Darlene Collier, manager of a local Salvation Army thrift store, told The Epoch Times. received.”

Two women from Newfoundland and a man from Nova Scotia were swept out to sea when a post-tropical storm hit Atlantic Canada and southeastern Quebec. One of the women broke her leg, but she was treated afterward and saved her life. Another succumbed to her injuries. The man is still missing.

Another man, known locally as “Smokie”, survived being hit by a wave while trying to enter the house and was swept away, but made it ashore unharmed and is staying at a relative’s house.

Though built on rock, many of the homes along the coast of Port-au-Basque on Water Street East, Feltham Avenue, Clement Crescent, and Knox Avenue have survived storms more than half a century ago, beating Fiona. Beaten and washed away by the sea.

Others were damaged beyond habitability. Police patrol the area.

“Many homes evacuated during the storm remain under evacuation orders,” said Newfoundland RCMP spokesman Cpl. Jolene Garland told the Epoch Times.

“Police have responded to cases of homeowners attempting to access their property and will continue to do so to ensure everyone’s safety.”

With the exception of one case described by the RCMP as a minor theft involving a young man who allegedly tried to smash a dirt bike helmet, the community has rallied around those most affected by Fiona’s outrage. I’ve been

The storm first made landfall in the Canadian Atlantic Ocean just southwest of Canso on the northeastern tip of mainland Nova Scotia in the early hours of September 24th.

According to the Canadian Hurricane Center, Fiona caused devastating winds, torrential rains, large waves and devastating storm surges.

Fiona crashed into the Basque harbor with winds of up to 134 km/h. But it was the storm surge that caused the most damage to this hardest-hit community.

Winds are actually stronger in other parts of Atlantic Canada, 140 km/h in Summerside, 149 km/h in East Point, Prince Edward Island, 177 km/h in Wreckhouse, Newfoundland, and 179 km/h in Arisaig, NS. km reached.

“Damage situation is under investigation”

A student at the Marguerite Residence at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS woke up just after midnight on Sept. 24 to hear the wind blowing off the roof of the building, said Cindy Mackenzie, a spokesperson for the university. Stated.

Students were allowed to evacuate in the middle of the night, move to Mulroney Hall, and then return to their dormitories to get laptops and other essentials before being transferred to another dormitory. By the next day, the university had dispatched a restoration company to the site to clean up and prevent further flood damage.

“A temporary patch was applied to Marguerite’s roof to minimize water seeping into the building,” Mackenzie said in an interview. “We are still assessing the damage.”

Along the road of destruction caused by Fiona, that’s what most people do: clean up, assess the damage, and try to fix what they can and get back to life.

In Nova Scotia alone, 415,000 of the utility’s customers lost power during the storm. A few days later, on the night of September 27, the state still had more than 7,700 power outages, affecting more than 120,000 customers.

Nova Scotia Power Storm Lead Matt Drover said in a statement:

“We are able to start looking better at some of the hardest-hit areas with drones and helicopters, reinforcing how widespread the damage is.”

Thousands of trees fell on power lines during Fiona, hundreds of utility poles snapped or were pushed aside by fallen trees, and transformers were damaged in Nova Scotia alone.

Drone footage provided by Nova Scotia Power shows a series of downed utility poles and power lines in Grace Bay, workers installing new poles, and a giant tree uprooted by a storm blocking the road.

By the end of September 27th, the situation was similar with widespread power outages in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton, Newfoundland and Labrador.

In addition to fallen trees and lost homes, many Atlantic Canadians face flooding from storm surges and flash flooding losses from the weekend’s heavy rains.

Over 100 Canadian Forces personnel have been deployed in various areas to support disaster relief efforts, following requests for assistance from the NS, PEI, and NL governments.

Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair announced that Ottawa will make a matching donation to the Canadian Red Cross’ Hurricane Fiona in Canada Appeal to support emergency services ranging from temporary housing, clothing, food and other essentials. did.

“Full participation”

But in Newfoundland, people are not waiting for the government to intervene.

In the northeastern coastal town of Zwillingate, former Port-au-Basque school principal and current mayor of Zwillingate, Justin Blacker, calls for action to bring food, clothing and money donations to the community. I was. As soon as he heard about the devastation, he went to his garage on September 25th.

JM Olds College principal Jessica Granter thought it was a good idea.

She, her staff, and local secondary school students started fundraising. They sold sundaes. They collected toonies from people who wanted to wear pajamas to school.

By noon on September 27, the small school of 111 students had raised $1,390, plus food, clothing, and other essentials for Port Au Basque residents. They added it to the Mayor’s Drive for a total of about $10,000 in cash and enough emergency supplies to fill a 26-foot U-Haul trailer. He donated $500 to the local Lions club for gasoline.

“We have one in the Basque Port now, and another one coming out on Monday,” Granter said in an interview.

Everyone participated. It was just crazy. One woman had three wool hats she knitted just to donate,” she said. “So many people who have struggled or are struggling were among those who gave the most.”

In the Salvation Army of Port-au-Basque, even the water is brown, residents are under boiling water advisories, and help from strangers keeps hope alive.

“They’re calling from all over the state and all over Canada asking what they can do,” Collier said. “The truck comes every day. Sometimes another one comes later with fresh ingredients.”

James Risdon


James Risdon is an award-winning journalist based in Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada.