It’s over 5 days ago hurricane Juan made landfall and ploughed through the province of Nova Scotia, leaving many without electricity, food or even homes. When the hurricane’s landfall started, I decided to keep a close eye on the storm’s progress by blogging on regular intervals until we experienced our own power outages. Pictures here, have been taken (and reprinted, retouched whenever necessary) from the Truro Daily News. Feel free to add comments or leave corrections in the comments.
11:30pm – 12:15am: Wind has picked up. Gayle and I decide to step away from the computer to watch the localnews. There’s live feed from Halifax and we both loath the reporters who decided to cover the ‘Live!Wind!Action!’. Power gets knocked out frequently. I decide to turn off my computer. Around 12:15, we decide to go to bed. Moving speed (not windspeed!) of the hurricane was around 50-60 km/h: since we expect the hurricane to be heading for Truro, I make a good guess that it will be hitting us around 1:00 am.
~1:00 am: Wind sounds dangerous. After listening for a half hour I fall asleep.
~7:00 am: I wake up, watch out the window and see whole trees on Brunswick. Across the street trees have disappeared, or rather, chopped up, neatly packed together by crews. Loud powersaw noises. And still loads of rain. I look towards the car and see a couple of branches covering the car. I move to the kitchen and see that a tree has landed on our car. Wife’s upset. We were ready to bury mom tomorrow and now this.
10:00 am: We check around. Apparantly the tree that hit the car ripped the power mast from the house and destroyed the electricity meters. However, from a distant I can see that that cable attached to the mast may have caught the fall of the tree. Neighbour starts chopping tree into smaller parts and we discover that the car has only a couple of small dents on the roof. Big sigh of relief. Old lady’s house next door has many trees uprooted. Convenience store across the road lost roadsign. And above all no power.
Rest of the day: inventory, cleaning and digging out candles. We don’t have to worry about water, since we’re on the town sewer. A drive through town tells us that Queen street has lost most of its oldest trees. The whole town seems out of power and people/cars are lining up in front of the Willow street and Power Center’s Hortons: apparantly the Power Center is one of the only areas which hasn’t lost electricity. We manage to get a hot lunch over at Horton’s, then return home in the afternoon. We’re not the only ones hunting for food. 16,998 others are in front of us. Or behind us. I don’t remember. Every shop is closed. Convenience stores not, so they make big business.
We bury Gayle’s mom in New Germany. Strangely enough it’s warm outside: The weather is overly sunny. Driving on the 102 we literally see the path of devastation. There’s plenty of power in New Germany and even in the Valley. Which gives a surreal meaning to the weather wonder called hurricane.
We had been able to call out since day one, but find out that Eastlink has troubles with their landlines. Power has returned to a handful of (lucky) people in town. There’s anger around town when people discover that local officials refused to declare the local state of emergency. Food from fridge and freezer is thrown in garbage bags for pick up the next day. Fridge is smelly. Rather. Unpleasantly.
We discover the cat is missing. Plus: an asshole slid one of the car’s tires. Donut’s on the wheel thanks to neighbour. Then off to find tire and safely return home. Dark is the night again, but we find a couple of candles (Dollarstore rules) but no camping stoves (Try Canadian Tire. Try Wal-Mart. Try Home Hardware). Sold out. A plenty of water. And the coffee from the convenience store across the road is actually pretty good. Cat returns home before we decide to go to bed around 10 pm. We both happy and cat is purring her head off. Literally.
Still no power and we’re pretty cynical. I call bro and we (Gayle and I) throw a memorable act of ‘cynically depressed survivors of Hurricane Juan’ together. We laugh about our own misery as we decide to eat another dry cold sandwich for supper. We’re proud having survived a hurricane but we wonder what’s piling up next. It’s getting Brrr-Brrrr. Cold.
We drive out to pick up a couple of groceries, heater and other stuff. Nova Scotia Power employees arrive around 5 and promise me to return power but leave. Then they return with new meters. At 6 (after a call with Alfons) we have power again but no food. Yay.
More images here