Dorian strikes the Madeleine
The Madelinots were brewed in the night of Saturday. Hurricane Dorian hit the Îles-de-la-Madeleine to leave behind significant damage, both on the infrastructure and on the banks.
“We’ve seen others, we’re used to it, but not at this time. It’s been 10 years that I stay in the Islands and wind and damage side, whether the coast or infrastructure, the impacts are still important, “says the Director General Attention FragÎles, Marie-Eve Giroux, joined by the Sun by phone.
Her organization has been working since 1988 on the protection of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine environment. All week, she and her team will walk to see the extent of the damage: after the storm, household room.
“I went to a few places near my home and saw significant impacts on the dunes and cliffs. There is a staircase that allows us to access a beach that is completely sprayed. Whenever there is a big storm, you have to think. What should we do for the future? ”
Attention FragÎles is the only organization in the region to take care of the restoration of the territory.
The fishing port section of the Cap-aux-Meules wharf, where several boats crashed during the storm.
The organization deals with the gaps created by the sea.
“In prevention, we can try to maintain the integrity of the dunes as much as possible, restore them and keep them healthy so that they can play their role as a barrier during storms. This is our first line of defense with the sea. In certain areas where the dune was completely gone, it becomes more difficult to intervene, “raises M me Giroux.
Among the dunes around the Islands, nearly 300 sites have been restored by the organization for the past 10 years. Attention FragÎles also does a lot of work and activities with citizens and schools to ensure some awareness.
“The erosion of the banks is a natural phenomenon. But with the storms, all of a sudden, there is a big decline, there are big losses in some places. ”
The Director General says that sometimes it is necessary to let nature take its place, it becomes impossible to prevent the Islands from changing in certain areas, the effect of the sea is stronger than the human efforts.
Financial assistance is expected from the government to restore several locations. Every storm is the same story. The organization must come back to the Ministry of the Environment to remind them that their work is essential.
“We do not have recurring funding. There are funds coming from the federal government and we have been working on the provincial side for several years to have the character of the organization recognized, to support the mission. These are important issues with climate change and erosion. We hope that one day we will be able to have this support from the department. It’s going to be worse in the coming years, we ‘ve been working hard with the minister for 10 years, “says Giroux.
Madelinots usually wait for storms in November, when it’s colder. This time, the weather is warmer, which worries citizens less in case of power failure.
“The municipality had asked to pick everything up on the ground and attach everything that could be, people were prepared. There are things that are difficult to prevent. Since Saturday night, there are breakdowns everywhere, but it is recovering. There were two major breakdowns that cut some of the lines, Hydro-Québec teams are already hard at work to solve the problem. In November, that’s what was difficult, we did not have many teams on site. There, they sent them before, “says Ms. Giroux.
A spokesman for Hydro-Quebec on the spot had said that during the night of Saturday, nearly 3600 homes had lost power, even up to 7000 Sunday morning. It was very reassuring since no major break had been spotted, customers were to find electricity in the day of Sunday, as the strength of the winds decreased and the rain did not fall any more. The work was not major for the Hydro-Québec teams, in most cases it was the rivers that damaged the lines.
Pascal Poirier, teacher at the Polyvalente des Îles, lives on the northwestern side of the Magdalen Islands. Its anemometer recorded gusts of 112 km / h.
“It’s not the worst storm I’ve seen, but the people on the other side have been brewing more. Environment Canada recorded gusts of 124 km / h, anyway. I have a 76 year old house and I thank the builder, “he says.
In the day of Sunday, he noticed winds of 60 km / h, and the strength seemed to continue to weaken.
“I saw roofs torn off and I did not see that often. We tasted it, that’s for sure. With the high tide, it did not help the boats. That’s probably why the wharves were ripped off. That night, the water was even beyond the wharf. Several boats drifted and went bumping into others. Floating docks were deported, “said he explained to the sun .
Dorianswept the Nova Scotia Peninsula and southern New Brunswick with sustained near-150 km / h winds near Halifax on Saturday. Since then, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have begun to assess the damage, after almost half a million homes and businesses were deprived of electricity. The number of customers affected by these major blackouts decreased across the Maritimes on Sunday afternoon, but Nova Scotia Power CEO Karen Hutt stressed the magnitude of the task on the ground. “It’s not a matter of hours, but days,” she said. Nova Scotia Power reports that about 80% of its customers were in the dark the day before – a record. The Nova Scotia capital appears to have been the hardest hit by what remained of the hurricane, as an imposing crane swung into downtown Halifax. No injuries were reported, however. More than 250,000 homes and businesses were still without electricity across Nova Scotia in the early evening of Sunday. The Canadian Press
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