Nova Scotians prepare to shelter in place as Hurricane Fiona approaches

It’s the literal calm before the storm in Nova Scotia and residents are stocking up on essentials as Hurricane Fiona moves toward the province.

Fiona is expected to make landfall in Nova Scotia as a post-tropical cyclone with gale-force winds early Saturday. For Terry Drohan, a resident of Sydney, NS, home is Cape Breton Island, where the center of the storm is expected to hit.

“I think we’re, you know, extremely anxious and full of trepidation and worry about what the future is going to bring here,” he told CTV’s Your Morning on Friday.

Drohan said he picked up a second sump pump to make sure his basement doesn’t flood and he has extra gasoline for his generator as widespread blackouts are expected in the province.

“Flood preparedness is something I’ve been doing on a yearly basis, but I think this storm is a concern for the entire region with the high winds and the older trees (very, very large trees) that are around,” he said.

Environment Canada has issued tropical storm or hurricane warnings for all of Nova Scotia and PEI, as well as much of Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and parts of eastern Quebec. On Cape Breton IslandThe agency forecasts rainfall of more than 200 millimeters, as well as hurricane-force wind gusts of up to 160 km/h.

“It is inevitable that our area of ​​the city will be flooded,” Drohan said. “It’s guaranteed that we’re going to have devastating flooding in the heart of the city. But like I said, the additional concern with this particular storm is high winds and in the center of our city.”

It’s not the first time Drohan has had to deal with a megastorm. Seven years ago, his house was flooded after heavy rains and strong winds hit Cape Breton during the 2016 Thanksgiving Day Storm. The Drohan community was hit again by another major flood last November.

“There’s not much you can do with Mother Nature. I mean, you know, you prepare for it. But you know, it’s always been shown that Mother Nature can twist and change things,” he said. “It’s become an annual event where you just get ready and cross your fingers and hope things work out.”

But not all Nova Scotians have a home to shelter in and weather the storm, and advocates are concerned for the province’s most vulnerable residents.

“If someone has to evacuate a house because it’s not safe, then we have to help the homeless as well,” Vicky Levack of PADS Community Advocacy Network told CTV’s Your Morning on Friday.

In Halifax, Mayor Mike Savage told reporters at a news conference that in addition to the emergency evacuation shelters for the general publicThere will also be two specific homeless shelters with food available. But Levack worries that may not be enough, given that the province is home to some 1,000 homeless people.

“You have to make sure that when you promise things, when you say there will be food, when you say there will be dry clothes, when you say there will be beds, you have to make sure that those things are actually there and that there are enough for everyone,” he said.

“With this storm, as bad as it is, I think (the city) is doing what it thinks is best, but we’re afraid it’s not going to be enough.”

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