Maritimes Prepare for Hurricane Fiona

Maritime residents are doing what they can to prepare for the potential impact of Hurricane Fiona.

Emergency officials also report potential damage, flooding and power outages, and let residents know what they can do to prepare.

NEW SCOTLAND

Officials from Nova Scotia Power, the Emergency Management Office and the Canadian Red Cross all say they are ready to respond to whatever Hurricane Fiona brings to the area.

Officials are also reminding residents to do the basics, like having emergency kits, enough food and water to last 72 hours, and making sure electronics are fully charged.

Emergency kit items to include are:

  • a water supply for three to seven days
  • non-perishable food
  • a well-stocked first aid kit
  • prescription and non-prescription drugs
  • formula, diapers and other baby supplies, if needed
  • a manual can opener
  • toiletries
  • battery operated radios and flashlights with extra batteries
  • spare blankets and clothes for each member of the household (in case of evacuation)
  • candles and matches or a lighter
  • cash
  • a charged cell phone

In Halifax, the municipality says the biggest threat to homes and properties is flying debris. HRM reminds everyone to bring or secure anything that could be blown away.

Nova Scotia Power says it mobilized more than 500 field resources ahead of the storm, and while it says investments continue to be made in clearing efforts around power lines, officials continue to monitor conditions.

“Wind speeds during this event are very large, so there could be trees coming into contact with power lines causing outages due to the sheer magnitude of wind speeds associated with this weather system,” said Sean Borden of Nova Scotia Power.

“We make sure we have our volunteer workforce on standby, that our logistical supplies are easily accessible and can be dispatched as needed, and then we work with our municipal and provincial partners on the services that will be provided, until and including, collective accommodation,” said Ancel Langille of the Canadian Red Cross.

Construction sites are also working to ensure that no damage is sustained.

“I think we’re going to do everything we can to make sure everything is tied down, bolted down – anything that can fly off,” said Justin Cullinan, the project manager at a site on Russell Street in Halifax. “He’ll be tucked away somewhere safe. Or he’ll be screwed to something that’s going nowhere.”

In Cape Breton, residents who live in Sydney’s flood zone know all too well the damage and devastation that a weather system like Fiona can bring.

“You don’t want to cause panic, but you want to make sure people are prepared for this and it’s definitely beyond what we’re used to. People should take it seriously,” Wayne McKay said. , a resident of Sydney.

Hardware stores are also under pressure. A Sydney department store said it was struggling to meet demand for generators this week.

“We’ve sold 10 to 12 since yesterday afternoon I believe and we have a few left, but they’re going very fast,” said Vince MacLellan, manager of a Sydney department store.

Department stores in the Halifax area are under similar pressure.

Paul Rainville picked up a portable charger for electronic devices on Wednesday in anticipation of the big storm. Having just moved from Ottawa, the approaching storm is its first hurricane since the 1950s.

“When I was four years old, I was rocked in Ottawa by Hurricane Hazel, and I still remember the high winds,” Rainville said.

At a press conference in Sydney on Wednesday afternoon, the main message was that Maritimers are watching the weather and preparing for the worst.

“I would say any flood-prone area should expect the same, and another hazard that comes with that is washouts on the roads, so traveling during this time is strongly discouraged,” said Christina Lamey of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

NEW BRUNSWICK

In New Brunswick, boat owners at the Shediac Bay Yacht Club were scrambling Wednesday to get their boats out of the water ahead of Hurricane Fiona’s landfall this weekend.

In September 2019, Tropical Storm Dorian overturned dozens of boats and caused nearly $2 million in damage.

“It was a big storm when Dorian arrived and it was a big mess,” said Gerry O’Brien, manager of the Shediac Yacht Club.

“I had a sailboat on top of my motor boat for a few days and we had to haul them in,” boat owner Denise Arsenault said. “I want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I think we’ve all learned our lessons.”

Storm preparations were also underway at Pointe-Du-Chêne Wharf in Pointe-Du-Chêne, NB

“We secure everything. We will be installing hurricane lines from our docks to protect our boaters, but boaters should get their boats out before the storm hits,” said Victor Cormier, general manager of Pointe-à-Pitre. Quai Du-Chêne.

Shediac Mayor Roger Caissie told CTV News that in the coming days, town staff will be picking up any items that may fly away, such as park benches and garbage cans.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

The City of Charlottetown is also reminding residents of the importance of a 72-hour emergency preparedness plan.

At a press conference Wednesday, the Prince Edward Island Emergency Measures Organization said Islanders can expect some impacts from Hurricane Fiona as early as Friday.

“September is the busiest time of Atlantic hurricane season, and the best way for us to prepare is to make sure our contingency plans are up to date and our kits are well stocked. That means ensure we have enough supplies for at least 72 hours,” Justice and Public Safety Minister Darlene Compton said. “It is also important that we monitor our loved ones and neighbors who may need supplies. ‘an extra hand to prepare for what Fiona might bring.”

PEI EMO is currently reviewing and testing business continuity plans with ministries, partner agencies, municipalities and community organizations to support them in their preparedness efforts.

“We’re going to have power outages. There’s going to be downed trees. Our trees are in full leaf which creates a bit of a sail environment that it’s a lot easier for trees to be uprooted,” a said Tanya Mullally, Director of PEI EMO.

Residents are encouraged to restock their emergency preparedness kits to include additional provisions such as food, water, heat and fuel that will enable households to support themselves. needs up to five days.

Prince Edward Island is also working on plans to set up indoor shelter Thursday through Sunday at a community hall in Charlottetown.

“I spoke with Minister MacKay earlier today, who assured me that his departments are finalizing plans to help support local Islanders, including those living in precarious housing,” said Compton said.

It’s still unclear if and when Hurricane Fiona will hit the island, but emergency officials are taking the threat seriously and say islanders should do the same.

Emergency officials are also advising Islanders to stay home once the storm begins, not only for safety, but also to provide recovery crews with the space they need for cleanup.


With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko, Kyle Moore, Jack Morse and Derek Haggett.

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