Losses tallied as hundreds of soldiers arrive for cleanup missions


Phyllis Carr’s voice was broken with emotion as she investigated the damage to the historic town of Stanley Bridge, a small community on the north shore of Prince Edward Island.

“It’s very sad for us who have lived here all our lives and our parents lived here,” Fiona said.

“Our lives are about to change around our ports, marinas, fishing communities and fishermen.”

By the time Fiona exited the Stanley Bridge on Saturday, the highway was swept away, debris was everywhere, and the outlook for the town suddenly dimmed. road.

Across the ocean, in eastern Quebec and southwestern Newfoundland, the economic impact of the storm is still tallying.

In addition, approximately 250,000 homes and businesses on Atlantic Canada have not yet received electricity. At the height of Saturday’s storm, more than 500,000 of his people were in darkness, including 80% of Nova Scotia Power’s customers and his 90% of his PEI.

Crews worked around the clock to fix downed power lines, but some utilities have warned it could take days before power is restored for everyone.

Nova Scotia Power spokesman Matt Drover said the drones and helicopters were able to get a closer look at some of the worst-hit areas, confirming the extent of the damage. .

Utilities have to deal with thousands of trees on power lines, hundreds of broken or leaning utility poles, and streets blocked by debris, Drover said. He said the company has sent more than 1,000 technicians to the site, including crew members from New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and New England.

Nova Scotia police said Monday that a man who has been missing since Friday is believed to have been swept out to sea during a storm. His 81-year-old Larry Smith of his prospect in Lower, NS was last seen Friday night, and no trace of him was found after an exhaustive search, according to the Halifax District RCMP.

In a statement, the RCMP said the search operation was called off “based on the belief that Mr. Smith has entered the sea.”

The RCMP in western Newfoundland confirmed on Sunday that the body of a 73-year-old woman from Port aux Basques was recovered after record-breaking storm surges flooded her home and washed it out to sea. Her name has not been released. The cause of death for another Fiona-related fatality at PEI has yet to be determined, but the state’s acting public safety chief said preliminary findings on Sunday indicated “the use of a generator.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to the woman’s family at a press conference in Ottawa.

In a briefing, MP Gudie Hutchings of Newfoundland told the prime minister that poignant photos from Port aux Basques did not convey the level of devastation. She said at least 76 homes in 4,000 towns were destroyed or structurally damaged.

“Newfoundlanders and Labradrians are resilient people, but you could say this tested each one of us,” she said via a video link from Port aux Basques. But) we are all coming together to help those in need.”

Rene Roy, editor of the town’s weekly newspaper, said the community was still in shock.

“There’s a lot of absolute uncertainty and shocked faces,” the Reckhouse Press editor said in an interview Monday. Shaking.Today and yesterday, all I do is shake my head and click my tongue.”

The southwestern corner of Newfoundland is used to big storms, Roy said, but Fiona’s whiplash was unlike anything the community had ever seen.

“For the first time in history, everyone in town feared for their lives,” he said. “Now 200 people are homeless.”

Earlier in the day, Defense Minister Anita Anand confirmed that one of the military’s new Arctic patrol vessels, HMCS Margaret Brooke, will conduct health checks in small communities along Newfoundland’s south coast. did.

Meanwhile, members of the Canadian Forces have been deployed to help clean up.Anand said on Sunday that Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and PEI had each acquired about 100 soldiers, some already in place. It was confirmed.

Asked if 100 soldiers per state would be enough given the scale of the devastation, Trudeau said: “If they need more, we will send more.”

The Prime Minister was also asked about past commitments to improve the resilience of telecommunications infrastructure after mobile phone services were severely impacted by the 2019 post-tropical storm Dorian. .

“Since Dorian, we have learned lessons and put them into practice,” he said. “Unfortunately, given the increased likelihood of extreme weather events in the next few years, there will be more to learn about how to protect people.”

In Sydney, Cape Breton’s largest city, dozens of people, many of them international students and workers from Asia, seek temporary refuge at the Trade and Convention Center of the Membertou First Nation.

Most of them were forced to flee their apartment, which began to leak when Fiona caused heavy rain and ripped the building’s roof off.

Deepchand Kumar Medarodhan, a 30-year-old hospital worker who attended Cape Breton University, said, “Suddenly, an emergency team told us to evacuate the building.” I just put it in.”

Medalodan said it would be difficult to find a new place to live. “There are a lot of students here, but there are no apartments here.”

Hina Aram

canadian press