Saturday 14 September 2019

After The Storm

I can’t quite believe that it is almost two months since I last posted, but I’ve had various issues with my home computer, as well as with Blogger.  If anyone knows of a good (preferably free) photo editing app, I would be happy to hear about it.  I used to use Picasa, but it is no longer supported by Google, which has led to all sorts of issues in trying to upload photos and add watermarks.

Anyway, last Saturday saw the arrival of Hurricane Dorian, although it was downgraded to a tropical cyclone by the time it hit Prince Edward Island, we still had hurricane-force winds of 120 km/hr or 75 mph/hr.  We had been out and arrived home just as the rain was starting.  During the course of the afternoon, threatening clouds rolled in and the rain came down in sheets - mostly horizontally.  We watched as the sky darkened and the winds increased dramatically.

As darkness fell, the power went off and we sat in candlelight - in other circumstances, it might have been romantic, but it sounded like the roof was being ripped off our house and we ended up with water coming under the back door, so were piling towels against it to stem the flow.  

Looking out into the darkness, there was no light to be seen and everyone must have been sheltering indoors.  The maple tree in our front garden was bending and swaying to such an extent that I thought it wouldn’t survive the night.

The night was noisy and the storm raged on around us.  It was impossible to sleep until the early hours, when the winds finally died down a bit.

Next morning, we looked out onto a scene of devastation, but little realised the extent of it from the safety of home.  Our vegetable garden had been destroyed, but our maple tree was still standing.  Other trees in our neighbourhood had suffered extensive damage.

Late in the afternoon, we drove into town and were shocked by the extent of the damage.  Huge trees had been uprooted and laid across cars and houses.  Craters had opened up in gardens where the trees had once stood.  Mr Candytuft talked to someone who had lost seven mature trees from their garden in one night.

A week later, there are still about 6,000 homes without power.  We were lucky that ours was restored quickly, but others have been less fortunate.  We heard of some dramatic rescues from along the shore, but fortunately, no fatalities, unlike the Bahamas, where this storm originated.

Even today, I look around at the extent of the destruction and I feel humbled by the power of nature.  I read a news story of the devastation in the National Park at Cavendish, where 80% of the trees have been destroyed.  The clean-up continues and everywhere we look, there are piles of branches and trees being cleared.  It will be many weeks before life returns to a semblance of normality.  We are just thankful that everyone is alive to share their stories of the night that the storm hit and its aftermath.