Hurricane Fiona updates the Sunday after the storm | City | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
Hurricane Fiona made such a mess of Nova Scotia that the Canadian military has been called in to help with clean-up efforts.

Hurricane Fiona updates the Sunday after the storm

“I believe we did a very very good job,” says Bell's Geoff Moore. “We did everything we could.”

The sounds of whirring chainsaws and buzzing generators are filling the streets of Halifax as the city recovers from Hurricane Fiona, which made landfall as a post-tropical storm near Canso in the early hours of the morning on Saturday. While writing this story I’m surrounded by the sounds of people chatting and eating a much-needed warm meal at a very busy Freeman’s Little New York on Quinpool Road, because I’m one of the 234,442 “affected customers” still without power in the province as of Sunday afternoon.

That number is steadily going down as Nova Scotia Power crews work to get our electricity back up and running. According to a statement put out Sunday afternoon, over 50% of customers in HRM have been restored, but some of us may not have power for several days. In a news conference on Sunday afternoon, Matt Drover of NSP explains that crews couldn’t begin restoring power in much of the province on Saturday because the winds were still too high, but with the storm leaving Nova Scotia behind as it continued moving north, the restoration is full speed ahead. “This is a big day for us,” he says on Sunday. He adds that more than 1,000 workers are already on the ground, with more on the way from Ontario and Maine. The Canadian military has also been called in to help with the restoration efforts and clean-up.

Of course, we didn’t just lose electricity due to the storm. Phone service and cellular data has been spotty at best for many since Friday—another reason I’m using Freeman’s as an office. Geoff Moore from Bell was at the news conference to defend the service provider. Given the size of the storm and the extent of the damage, “I believe we did a very very good job,” he says. “We did everything we could.”

Lost service was a problem during 2019’s Hurricane Dorian, too, and Moore is adamant Bell learned its lesson back then. Bell had extra fuel and generators on hand before Fiona, he says, but given the extent of the power outages, the generators couldn’t keep up and Bell’s backup batteries ran out during the storm. Teams are currently bringing backup generators to sites that don’t have permanent generators. He says Bell will get service back to normal as soon as possible.

The Canadian Red Cross has put out an appeal for donations and the federal government will match them, Bill Lawlor says at the briefing. He says 176 people in Nova Scotia stayed at Red Cross shelters overnight during the storm.

Nova Scotia hasn’t reported any deaths or serious injuries due to the storm. PEI has reported one death, the cause of which is not determined, but according to preliminary investigations a faulty generator played a role. Details about the individual have not been released. A 73-year-old woman in Port aux Basques, Newfoundland was reported missing after being swept out to sea. Her body was recovered from the water Sunday afternoon.

Public school is canceled on Monday, September 26 in Halifax Regional Centre for Education, Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education, Strait Regional Centre for Education, Chignecto-Central Regional Centre for Education and in Conseil scolaire acadien provincial schools in its northern and metro groups.

Starting Wednesday, September 28, you can drop off tree debris at the following locations:

  • 2 Lyle Street, Dartmouth
  • 144 Thornhill Drive, Dartmouth
  • 26 Thomas Raddall Drive, Halifax
  • 50 Cheviot Hill, Porters Lake
  • Kinsac Ballfield (near 1703 Beaver Bank Road), Beaver Bank
  • Sheet Harbour Community Centre, 183 Pool Rd, Sheet Harbour
  • Lake Charlotte Boat Launch, 11475 Highway 7, Lake Charlotte
  • Peace Park, 67 Park Road, Musquodoboit Harbour

Comfort centres—where you can charge your phone, have a meal and get information—are still open at the following locations:

  • Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre, 1583 Beaver Bank Road, Beaver Bank | 10am to 7pm
  • Royal Canadian Legion Branch #58, 23566 Nova Scotia Trunk 7, Sheet Harbour | 9am to 9pm
  • Moser River Community Hall, 28975 Highway 7 | 8am to 8pm
  • Eastern Shore Community Center (Musquodoboit Harbour Arena), 67 Park Road, Musquodoboit Harbour | 11am to 9pm
  • Fairview Family Resource Centre, 6 Titus Street | 4pm to 7pm
  • Fire Station 62, 2417 Old Sambro Road | 2pm to 9pm

In the aftermath of the storm, the Nova Scotia government is asking people to:

  • continue monitoring local media outlets for weather and safety updates
  • stay off roads and away from downed power lines so crews can safely remove trees and debris and restore lines
  • stay out of provincial campgrounds, beaches and day-use parks, which are all closed
  • give emergency vehicles priority at gas stations for re-fuelling
  • call 211 if they need assistance with home oxygen maintenance
  • only call 911 in emergency situations
  • check on their neighbours to ensure people have what they need to stay safe
  • obey all traffic markers and do not attempt to go around or remove any barricades, barrels or traffic cones that are in place to protect motorists from entering potentially dangerous sites, and to protect employees working to clear sites or restore power

About The Author

Kaija Jussinoja

Kaija Jussinoja is a news reporter at The Coast, where she covers the stories that make Halifax the weird and wonderful place we call home. She is originally from North Vancouver, BC and graduated from the University of King’s College in 2022. Jussinoja joined The Coast in May 2022 after interning at The Chronicle...

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