New Brunswick

What to expect in N.B. with Hurricane Fiona on the way

Hurricane Fiona is set to make its way to New Brunswick on Friday. The Emergency Measures Organization is monitoring the situation, expecting biggest impact in the southeast.

N.B. Public Safety Minister Bill Hogan advises residents to take the storm seriously

Bill Hogan, public safety minister, said EMO is monitoring the situation from the Canadian Hurricane Centre and is prepared to ramp up the response as needed. (Edwin Hunter/CBC)

When Hurricane Fiona hits the region tomorrow, the worst of the storm is expected to impact southeast New Brunswick. 

Speaking to reporters today along with the Emergency Measures Organization, Bill Hogan, Public Safety minister, singled out coastal areas, especially around Cap-Pelé.

 "We could expect that there will be some damage," Hogan said. "How much damage it's not possible to say right at the moment because we don't know how strong the winds will be.

Some boats are being removed from the water at the Shediac Marina. (Pierre Fournier/CBC)

"We don't know if it'll dissipate a little bit more before it arrives on land."

Hogan said his biggest concern is making sure people take the storm seriously and "batten down the hatches." 

He said the storm shouldn't be taken lightly, but he does believe New Brunswick will fare better than Cape Breton and some parts of Prince Edward Island.

Hogan also reminded residents to be prepared.

"We're there to help communities, to help the people, but they also need to be responsible for themselves," said Hogan.

The Emergency Measures Organization is monitoring the situation from the Canadian Hurricane Centre, he said, and is prepared to ramp up the response as needed, especially if the storm track changes. 

Roger Caissie, mayor of Shediac, said he spoke with EMO officials earlier on Thursday.

Caissie said they are doing everything they'd normally do in a normal storm. In case of power outages, the generator is working at the town's multipurpose centre and that space will be used for warming if needed. 

Since the storm is set to hit Friday into Saturday, it will coincide with a period of high-tide, which could cause some trouble for low-lying areas along the coast, according to Shediac Mayor Caissie. (Pierre Fournier/CBC)

Town infrastructure, storm sewers, canals and ditches are being checked to make sure nothing is blocked, said Caissie. Staff will be on call and firefighters on stand-by. 

And a lot of boats are being removed from the water, said Caissie.

"We're not taking any chances in that regard," he said. 

For the boats that can't be moved, Caissie said the Shediac Bay Yacht Club has been renovated to provide more stability, hopefully causing less impact for those left in the water. 

Gerry O'Brien, manager of the yacht club, said they've been sending out information bulletins to members since the beginning of the week.

He said while there isn't a mandatory evacuation order for boats, many people chose to remove them as a precaution. The club went from having close to 90 boats in the water at the start of the week to under 20 now, he said.

Gerry O'Brien, manager of the Shediac Bay Yacht Club, said they have been sending information to members about the storm since the beginning of the week. (Gary Moore/CBC)

"People remember Dorian back in 2019," said O'Brien. "People don't want to be in the same situation."

He said people are slowly preparing for Fiona, but they aren't panicking. O'Brien said they plan to get as many boats out of the water as possible tomorrow. 

Caissie said since the storm is set to hit Friday into Saturday, it will coincide with a period of high-tide, which could cause some trouble for low-lying areas along the coast. 

Shediac Mayor Roger Caissie is hopeful power outages won't be too severe. (Gary Moore/CBC)

"Those property owners [who] are on the coastline, they've been there for a good number of years," said Caissie. "They've seen this before, they're taking their necessary precautions."

He said the town is "as ready as we can be." 

Caissie recommends residents have extra batteries on hand and charge cell phones in advance. He also recommends cleaning rain gutters and storing patio furniture.

"I'm hopeful that the power outages won't be that bad, but that's Mother Nature who's going to let us know."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hannah Rudderham is a journalist with CBC New Brunswick. She grew up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and moved to Fredericton to go to St. Thomas University in 2018. She recently graduated with a bachelor of arts in journalism. You can send story tips to hannah.rudderham@cbc.ca.

With files from Shift

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