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Reaction to destruction caused by post-tropical storm Fiona across the East Coast

HALIFAX — Post-tropical storm Fiona knocked out power to more than 500,000 customers in the Maritimes and forced towns in Cape Breton and on Newfoundland's southwestern coast to declare states of emergency on Saturday.
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Fallen trees lean against a house in Sydney, N.S. as post tropical storm Fiona continues to batter the Maritimes on Saturday, September 24, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Vaughan Merchant

HALIFAX — Post-tropical storm Fiona knocked out power to more than 500,000 customers in the Maritimes and forced towns in Cape Breton and on Newfoundland's southwestern coast to declare states of emergency on Saturday. Officials in Port aux Basques, N.L., say homes were washed into the sea. Here is some of the reaction:

Rene Roy, editor of the weekly newspaper in Port aux Basques:

"Lower Water Street is devastated with damage .... There are homes gone. There are homes in the street .... The RCMP are actively investigating whether people have been swept away."

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P.E.I. Premier Dennis King:

"It seems that few communities, large of small, have been spared It was billed as one of the most severe storms to ever hit our province, and by all accounts hurricane Fiona has lived up to that billing .... The devastation looks to be beyond anything that we have witnessed before in Prince Edward Island."

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Brian Button, mayor of Port aux Basques:

“So anybody that’s being told to leave their homes, you need to leave .... There are no ifs, ands or buts, you need to leave .... A house can be replaced but you can’t be, so you need to go and … we’ve already had houses and things that have been washed away, so we need you to go now."

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Tim Houston, Nova Scotia premier:

"Hurricane Fiona is now making its way through areas of Cape Breton. We are asking Nova Scotians to stay close to home if it is safe. Please check in on your family, friends and neighbours. Together we’ll weather the storm. Stay safe everyone."

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Christina Lamey, spokeswoman for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality:

"The first responders are really stretched right now. We want people to stay off the roads .... Most of the roads have hazards on them, with power lines down and trees down as well."

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

I’m thinking of everyone affected by hurricane Fiona — I want you to know that we’re here for you. I convened an Incident Response Group meeting with (Emergency Preparedness) Minister Bill Blair and officials this morning. Our government stands ready to support the provinces with additional resources.

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Arlene Grafilo, resident in Sydney, N.S.:

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

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Caralee McDaniel, resident in Cow Bay, N.S.:

"We're watching the wild waves crashing .... We have candles and several devices fully charged .... We have buckets of water and some boiled water in a Thermos so we can make coffee."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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