Reacting to the devastation caused by Hurricane Fiona


After Tropical Storm Fiona knocked out power to more than 500,000 customers in the Maritimes and forced towns in Cape Breton and on the southwest coast of Newfoundland to declare a state of emergency on Saturday. Officials in Port aux Basques, NL, say the homes have been washed out to sea. Here are some reactions:

Rene Roy, editor of the weekly Port aux Basques:

“Lower Water Road was severely damaged…. There are homes without homes. There are homes on the road…. RCMP is actively investigating whether people were swept away.”

PEI Premier Dennis King:

“It appears that very few communities, large and small, have been saved. It is considered one of the most severe storms ever to hit our province, and by all accounts, the storm. Fiona has survived so…. The devastation seems to be far beyond anything we’ve seen before on Prince Edward Island.”

Brian Button, mayor of Port aux Basques:

“So anyone asked to leave their home, you need to leave…. No ifs, ands or buts, you need to leave…. A house can be replaced. but you can’t, so you need to go and…we’ve got houses and things have been washed away, so we need you to go now.”

Tim Houston, Prime Minister of Nova Scotia:

“Hurricane Fiona is currently moving through parts of Cape Breton. We ask Nova Scotians to stay close to home if it’s safe to do so. Please check in with your family, friends and neighbors. We’ll be together. weather the storm. Keep everyone safe.”

Christina Lamey, Cape Breton Regional City spokeswoman:

“First responders are really stressed. We want people to stay off the roads…. Most roads are dangerous, with power lines and downed trees.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

My thoughts are with all those affected by Hurricane Fiona – I want you to know that we are here for you. I convened an Incident Response Team meeting with Minister (Emergency Preparedness) Bill Blair and officials this morning. Our government stands ready to support the provinces with additional resources.

Arlene Grafilo, resident of Sydney, NS:

“We heard a lot of noise outside and then we realized that there were a lot of cracks in the house and we looked outside and saw the tree had fallen…. We were trapped and we were there. We couldn’t open the doors and windows, so that’s when we decided to call 911. The kids were scared.”

Caralee McDaniel, resident of Cow Bay, NS:

“We’re watching wild waves come in…. We have candles and some fully charged devices…. We have buckets of water and some boiled water in a thermos to keep. We can make coffee.”

This Canadian Press report was first published on September 24, 2022.

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