‘A Night You’ll Never Forget’: Stories of Life by Hurricane Fiona in PEI Pipa News

‘A Night You’ll Never Forget’: Stories of Life by Hurricane Fiona in PEI

  • CBC News provides updates on Hurricane Fiona on local CBC.ca sites and CBC Radio One. Also, a special expanded version of Atlantic Tonight will provide full coverage of Hurricane Fiona and the aftermath of the entire region on Saturday at 7:00 PM AT and Sunday at 6:00 PM AT.

The morning after Hurricane Fiona left a trail of fallen trees and wires across Prince Edward Island, islanders and tourists alike told tales of a night they’ll never forget. The below have been shared with CBC News.

Matthew from Hunter River

Matthew sat in his half-ton truck outside his Hunter River home and spoke to Vanessa Blanch of CBC Radio to share his story. (He didn’t give his last name on Saturday’s regional dial-up show.)

“Absolutely one of the most terrifying nights I’ve experienced. That was a wind like I’ve never heard or seen,” he said. ‘Last night our barn doors were torn off… we have shingles off our roof. Our neighbor, he has three trees on his house, all the shingles from his roof.’

Matthew said the man who lived across from him had 40 or 50 year old spruce trees in his yard, and about half of them came down over the power lines.

“The power lines have broken and there is a lady a little way down the street – she had her shed collapse… just a mess. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

A huge tree toppled by the force of Fiona’s wind blocks a street in one of Charlottetown’s older neighborhoods. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC)

Matthew’s property lost 10 to 15 trees.

“Just a surreal sight to see… our poor trees. When the dawn came this morning, just looking out and looking at the trees, they were just bent over, and it was just incredible to see and just the howling and the growl of the wind.

“One of those nights you’ll never forget.”

Dakota from Charlottetown

Dakota also called CBC Radio on Saturday morning to speak with Blanch. (She didn’t give a last name, either.)

“The night was absolutely crazy. I was up all night because I was literally afraid the house would collapse,” she said.

“About seven trees fell. They just snapped. When I went outside, my trampoline literally flew at me and tried to kill me.”

Don Carr from Charlottetown

Don Carr was out on Saturday to look at the damage Fiona had left on the streets of his hometown. He spoke to reporters from CBC PEI

“I don’t envy anyone who has to leave today,” he said.

“I’m 77 years old and there’s only one hurricane I can think of that was anywhere close, and that was Hurricane Hazel years and years ago — 60 years ago — but this trumps all,” said Charlottetown’s Don Carr. (CBC)

“I’m 77 years old and there’s only one hurricane I can think of that was anywhere close, and that was Hurricane Hazel years and years ago — 60 years ago — but this trumps all.”

Carr does home renovations and is semi-retired.

“I’ve been trying to cut back since I was 60, and it’s not working, and this isn’t going to help,” he said. “We do a lot of work on decks and I’ve lost my own deck, so I have to start with that first.”

Tom Pound from Charlottetown

Tom Pound also surveyed the damage in Charlottetown on Saturday morning.

“I was up most of the night. I’ve never seen anything like it.’

“I was up most of the night. I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Tom Pound of Charlottetown. (CBC)

“It’s unreal. The damage it has done,” he said. “This power isn’t coming back too soon. It’ll be out for a while… there are poles everywhere you go.”

For now, Pound went home to do as the local authorities had ordered.

“They announce on the radio to stay inside, and that’s what my advice is – to stay inside.”

Jackie and Todd Kitchen from Ontario

Todd and Jackie Kitchen never expected this to happen during their week-long vacation to PEI, which doubled as a scavenger hunt. The Ontario couple shared their story with CBC’s Katie Nicholson from their motel.

“This isn’t a great commercial to move to the East Coast!” said Todd.

“It was a rough night—rainy, windy,” says Ontario’s Jackie Kitchen. (CBC)

“It was a rough night—rainy, windy,” Jackie said. “The power went out at 1:30 AM and we knew we were in trouble at that point. And it started to sound like a train was coming through… very high winds.

“We got the emergency alert on our phones saying, ‘Stay inside, stay away from the doors, stay away from the windows,’ so that’s what we did.”

The couple was supposed to leave tomorrow, but those plans are now up in the air.

“No internet, I can’t reach my parents, can’t reach anyone in Ontario, so we don’t know what’s going on with our flight,” Jackie said. “Yesterday we checked the website and everything was canceled of course to come in today.”

But they said they are making the best of it.

“We’ve got bread, we’ve got peanut butter, we’ve got a pot of water on the stove,” Jackie said.

“We travel about once a year and every time I bring a flashlight and a pack of cards. And guess what I didn’t take this one time? A flashlight and a pack of cards!” said Todd.

The Forsyths of Truro

In the same motel, just a few doors down from the kitchens, Janet Forsyth also spoke to Nicholson. She and her husband had taken some family members across the Confederation Bridge from Truro, NS, on Friday.

“I’m really from the island…so we have family here that we’re going to visit, so we came anyway,” she said.

Janet Forsyth, third from left, says they knew the storm was coming but decided to travel to PEI from Truro, NS anyway. (CBC)

She said they knew the storm was coming, but decided to travel anyway, with plenty of food, tea, coffee, and a propane tank to heat water.

And it looks like they’re planning to extend some maritime hospitality to their Ontario motel neighbors, the Kitchens.

“We’ll invite them over and have a drink,” Forsyth said.

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