Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of trees were ripped from the ground, the roof was ripped of the historic Beck's Home Furniture & Appliances building on the Montague waterfront and barns in the region were damaged as tropical storm Dorian swept through on the weekend.

Wind gusts up to 107 kilometres per hour were reported in some areas on Saturday and as high as 87 km/hour wreaking havoc well into the clean-up on Sunday.

Trees landing on power lines were the main issue that caused widespread power outages, according to Kim Griffin, with Maritime Electric, who said 62,000 customers were out at the peak. As of Tuesday morning more than 18,000 customers were still without power.

“It could be into the end of the week before everyone is back online,” she said.

At 6 pm on Saturday Barry and Nancy Beck received a call from RCMP about the roof peeling off their store taking with it all the electrical hookup.

Half of the roof of the 105-year old building laid on the ground opening the fourth floor inventory to the elements.

Cardigan Fire Chief Dwayne MacIntyre said early on they were inundated with calls of tree fires as the wind picked up and toppled trees onto power lines.

They were calls they couldn’t answer as Maritime Electric would have to cut off the power to the lines first. However, the smoldering trees were soon doused by heavy rain that accompanied the strong winds throughout the night.

Ms Griffin said she wasn’t aware of any tree fires being reported to Maritime Electric.

“We started getting outages on Saturday, into the evening some of which we were able restore power to,” she said, explaining some crews stayed out until 11 pm.

Provincial highway crews were also out in full force on Saturday clearing trees from roads, said Stephen Szwatc, Acting Director - Highway Maintenance. Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

The cleanup will be ongoing for a month in some areas across the Island and the extent of tree damage will be accessed as cleanup progresses, he added.

“Staff are still doing assessments,” Mr Szwatc said Tuesday morning. In some areas trees appear ready to fall and need to be taken care of.

Maple Farms Apple Orchard in Lower Montague lost 10 to 20 per cent of its crop as Dorion swept through knocking immature fruit to the ground, rendering them unsalable, owner Barry Haneveld said.

In addition, poplar trees in the hedge rows fell on top of some of the orchard trees on the 10 acre property.

Randy Kacsmarik and Cheryl MacLean spent the night worrying about their cattle and pigs (two of each) after their barn in High Bank went sideways between 9 and 10 pm.

The 60 x 40 foot structure was taken by a gust.

“It's a hip roof so the roof on the left is now at the top and being held by rafters, but the other half is gone,” Mr Kacsmarik said.

One pig seems a little stressed, but they are hopeful it will bounce back.

The fortunate thing is the animals got out and for the time being are being housed in the part of the barn that is still standing.

The couple hopes to rebuild as soon as possible.

“I don’t know, if we get another strong wind we don’t know what will happen.”

Mr Kacsmarik said he has never seen a steady sustained east wind like this before.

The Lower Montague Community Centre, Cardigan Fire Hall and Montague Fire Hall have all been open daily since Sunday morning to allow people to get water, heat up food and charge their electronic devices.

The Murray Harbour Community Centre opened its doors with more than 100 people taking advantage of the space on Sunday.

Souris Fire Chief Colin LaVie, who is also a fisherman, said the marina dock at Souris Harbour broke loose, but most of the boats were taken out of the water before the storm hit.

“The bullpen was full of (fishing) boats,” Mr LaVie said. The wind was in from northeast which was good for us.”

Fishermen in ports across the region kept vigil over their boats overnight Saturday as a tidal surge swamped wharves in many places.

Some gas stations also sold out of fuel as people filled their vehicles and needed fuel for their generators.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.