Recent Storm Fiona Wrecked Eastern Canada Ag
The recent Post-tropical storm Fiona hit Atlantic Canada hard – eastern Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland-Labrador. Dennis Guy reports…tape
Windspeeds in some areas exceeded 100 miles per hour. Property damage could exceed $1 Billion in cleanup, repairs and rebuilds.
Port Aux Basques on the south shore of Newfoundland has centuries of experience with north Atlantic storms. But Port Aux Basque mayor Bryan Button says no one in his community has seen anything like Fiona. Button said his town experienced its own version of the Perfect Storm movie.
“Nothing comes close to this. You don’t get how severe this was through pictures of the damage. You had to have been here to understand how severe the wind and the waves, and the rain and the sea-spray combined were. It was like that old movie, it was a perfect storm. It was a perfect culmination of weather patterns that hit us all at once. Nobody here has seen this.”
Geoff Boyle, a fruit-orchard grower in Warren Grove near Charlestown on Prince Edward Island, says they were just starting apple harvest season when the storm hit. Many of his 13,000 trees were broken over by the winds. Boyle says it takes five years to re-establish pear and apple trees, but the full extent of damage is yet to be established.
“We’re still counting. We have 152 rows and we have 13,000 trees. It’s pretty significant. It’s one thing for the fruit to be on the ground because of the storm, which is a one-time loss. It’s another thing to have our complete infrastructure, trellis system and the trees, snapped. So, that sets us back five years. Go back and rip those out, and transplant new ones in the spring, that’s going to be a five year delay before we get back to where we were.”
Geoff Boyle says the new trellis system probably helped to make wind damage worse for his apple orchard.
“It’s the worse possible time. Each tree probably had 40 pounds of fruit on it. We have them in this new trellis which puts them at three feet apart. So, it’s literally a wall of apples. And the wind-direction was coming right across the side. So, all the pressure was pushed on our trellis-system from the side. It gave out in a lot of areas. We did salvage about 18 bins of apples, which is about 800 pounds each. So, its something but in the scale of things, not very much.”