Sunday June 16, 2024

Canada army deployed for hurricane cleanup

September 27, 2022

MONTREAL: Canada deployed soldiers on Monday to help clean up widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Fiona, which left three people dead in the country’s Atlantic provinces.

More than 260,000 people were still without electricity in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick on Monday morning. Soldiers were clearing debris from roads and restoring transportation links, as television images showed homes smashed into piles of broken lumber, massive trees knocked down by winds, and flooding.

Authorities said several months of hard work will be needed to restore essential infrastructure including schools and community centres. "The scale of the damage means that people are still facing a tough time," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference, describing the trauma felt by many who have seen their homes destroyed and have been displaced.

"There will be a lot of work to do in the coming days to clean up and rebuild," he said. Some parts of the region saw record waves pummeling the coast, according to Environment Canada, washing out roads and bridges.

Charlottetown resident Craig Cooper showed the many trees that buried his car and part of the roof of his house. "This is by far the worst storm that we’ve ever seen in PEI, there’s no doubt about it," he told public broadcaster CBC, referring to Prince Edward Island.

In Channel-Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland, a 73-year-old woman was swept out to sea in the storm. Another person died in Prince Edward Island and a third has been reported missing in Nova Scotia -- one of the hardest-hit provinces -- and is presumed dead.

"When it’s all said and done... Fiona will turn out to have caused the most damage of any storm we’ve seen," said Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston. The hurricane had already killed at least seven people last week, including four in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe.