Hurricane Fiona: Martimers prepare for impending storm

As Hurricane Fiona heads toward Atlantic Canada, emergency officials in the region are asking residents to heed their advice.

The storm is forecast to enter Canada’s Atlantic waters late Friday and make landfall in the area Saturday morning.


In Nova Scotia, the minister responsible for emergency management said the impact of Fiona was potentially “very dangerous”.

“The impacts are forecast to be felt across the province,” said John Lohr. “Everybody in Nova Scotian should prepare today and prepare for impact.”

Strong and damaging winds are forecast to lead to widespread power outages.

Nova Scotia Power CEO David Pickles said the company will open its emergency operations center on Friday and have a crew of more than 800 people on standby.

“We know it’s a very important wind, trees are still blooming, trees and limbs are going to fall and that’s going to cause power outages,” Pickles said.

Construction sites are also a concern, not only for airborne bulk materials, but also for the approximately 32 tower cranes that dot the Halifax skyline.

It was during the post-tropical storm Dorian when a crane crashed into a building where it was set up. No one was injured.

Individuals can see a rotating tower crane, but experts say that’s the purpose.

“When it is idle, the crane itself is allowed to weather the weather or rotate freely with the wind to minimize the wind load on it,” said Jeff Dolan, the province’s Chief Technical Safety Officer.

There are a number of shelters in Halifax and outreach workers are making rounds to let those living in need know about emergency shelter options, including one in Dartmouth that will open on Friday, along with one elsewhere in Sackville.

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage is urging residents to prepare.

“This storm is going to hit us, and it’s going to hit us in the face, so we have to be ready,” Savage said.

People are encouraged to have enough food and supplies for 72 hours. Officials say people living in coastal communities should be prepared to leave if an evacuation order is issued shortly.

Farther north of the province, Cape Breton could lead the region’s rush to prepare for Hurricane Fiona, based on the storm’s current track.

Justin Green, the company that helps install sump pumps, has helped many customers get ready for impending weather.

“We were definitely swamped,” Green said. “We have been busy preparing to try and get the material together here. Is crazy “.

CTV News spoke to Lawrence Wilson on Thursday afternoon as he trimmed the trees on his property.

“Some big, heavy branches are sticking out south, so I just need to clean them up,” says Wilson.

Gary Leblanc, who works for a property recovery company, said the shortage of workers in the industry has him worried that he won’t be able to keep up with the potential storm cleanup demand.

“We have seen many times where [hurricanes] going to go right to the sea, but this doesn’t seem to do it and it makes me very nervous,” Leblanc said.

Officers across Cape Breton Regional City (CBRM) have been busy making sure sewer lines are clear and ready for heavy rain.

Mark Monaghan, who works for the city, said: “Over time, it builds up and eventually, it rises to the surface. “When that happened, the roads were flooded and people were flooded with water.”

Waves as high as 15 meters, or 50 feet, can crash areas of the Cape Breton Coast.

A famous part of the coastline always at risk is Dominion Beach, after suffering severe damage from storm surge and shoreline erosion.

CBRM Commissioner Darren Bruckschwaiger, who has led the effort to save the beach, said he was particularly worried about potential damage from Hurricane Fiona.

Phase one of the beach conservation project added a rock wall to protect the parking lot and a building behind it. Still, Bruckschwaiger says there’s probably only so much that can be done in a storm as big as Fiona.

Bruckschwaiger says, while he’s seen severe storms damaging beaches in the past, “this storm here is the one that scares me.”

“Depending on the direction of the wind, and they say it’s spinning, it’s likely to turn towards the beach. If you get that, we’re in serious trouble,” he said.

Bruckschwaiger is asking any wave watchers to avoid the beach during the storm.


Like Cape Breton, areas of Prince Edward Island can be affected by some of the worst weather. In addition to wind and rain, storm surge has the potential to cause damage.

Large waves are expected to wash the shores, especially along the northern coast of the Island.

“The words they’re using, with the Canadian Hurricane Center, are ‘historic tides’, flooding that we can’t see,” said Tanya Mullally, director of Emergency Measures PEI. seen, nor can it be measured against.

“We measured against [Hurricane] Juan yesterday. And now, they’re saying, “Well, that might not be enough,” she said.

High winds are also a concern for Charlottetown, a heavily wooded capital. Officials said the entire canopy and root system weakened by rain could cause trees to fall.

In light of growing concerns, the province has upgraded its emergency response to level two.

“That means we are getting more partners on the table,” said PEI Public Safety Minister Darlene Compton. “Government agencies such as social and housing development, transportation, municipalities, ITSS. We are also hearing from Canada about public safety. “

Efforts were underway on Thursday to move a homeless camp near a college in downtown Charlottetown to another location, while plans for more substantial shelters are underway. perform.


New Brunswick is also preparing. Its emergency measures organization said the focus was on the southeast of the province.

There is concern about high tides in the Shediac area and along the coast. NB Power says it anticipates the grid’s impacts, with 400 field crews ready to respond when power outages are likely to occur.

Bill Hogan, the province’s minister of public safety, said his department stands ready to help other Maritime provinces, if assistance is needed.

“We are already preparing to deploy into Nova Scotia to help these people,” Hogan said. “We are both Maritimers, we play the role of Maritimers, and we want to help each other when we can.”

Hogan is reminding residents of central and northern New Brunswick not to take the storm lightly – especially as Fiona’s path could change over the next 24 to 48 hours.


Across the region, grocery stores, hardware stores and gas stations are offering discounts on essential items.

Denika Coakley was in middle school when Hurricane Juan tore through Nova Scotia in 2003. Now, she’s preparing to weather the storm with her family.

“You have to have your storm chip. But you can have easily accessible meals and things that don’t really need to be baked in the oven, so sandwiches, that kind of bread,” Coakley said, lining up groceries in his truck.

As the Coakleys prepare to face Fiona, the others are escaping while they can.

Halifax Stanfield International Airport spokeswoman Tiffany Chase is reminding passengers to check with their airline before arriving at the airport, hoping to change their flight.

“At this point, we understand that airlines are adding some flights,” Chase said. “It is unlikely that they will consider leaving the device here at the airport. For example, they want to move as much as possible away from the area until the storm passes. “

Featuring files from CTV writers Jesse Thomas, Ryan MacDonald, Kyle Moore, Jonathan MacInnis, Laura Brown and Jack Morse.

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