High winds damage historic church, wharf in Digby County
Gusts reached 120km/hr and ripped shingles off a recently repaired lighthouse
People in Belliveaus Cove, N.S., are assessing damage after high winds whipped through the Digby County community Friday, damaging a wharf, lighthouse and a historic church.
The gusts reached 120 km/h and caused buildings to shake, said Christiane Thériault, who chairs the Belliveau Cove Development Commission.
Her office is between two wharfs and when she went to check on the area, she found seaweed scattered everywhere.
"It kind of looked like the wharf had exploded," she said. "My heart dropped and I ran, really as fast as I could to see what the damage was."
Last summer, volunteers from the community painted the lighthouse and fixed up the wharf by replacing shingles and rotten boards.
"In one big wave, probably, half of those shingles are floating now. They're gone. It's pretty sad. All the time and effort and money and hard effort to volunteer to get it done, all to be gone in an instant," Thériault said.
The storm dislodged some rocks under the lighthouse, but she said it still appears secure for the moment, although it could be at risk if high tides pull away more of the rocks.
Some Peak Nova Scotia Wind Gusts Fri & Fri Night. <br>(km/h)<br>St. Joseph du Moine 137<br>Tusket 129<br>Yarmouth 119<br>Beaver Isl 119<br>Greenwood 117<br>Osborne Head 111<br>Western Head 107<br>Keji Park 107<br>Halifax YHZ 106<br>McNabs Isl 106<br>Port Hawkesbury 105<br>Lunenburg 103<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Halifax?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Halifax</a> Kootenay 99<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nsstorm?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#nsstorm</a>—@ryansnoddon
The wharf is not used by commercial fishermen, so it's maintained by the community, Thériault said. The next step will be looking for any applicable grants to repair it as the work will likely be expensive.
The wind also ripped into one of the oldest and tallest wooden buildings in North America: the Sainte-Marie Catholic Church in Clare.
Thériault said a chunk of the steeple flew off and people are concerned rain leaking inside will damage the historic building.
"Everybody is scrambling on their feet right now to Band-Aid it, see what they can do," Thériault said of the storm damage.
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With files from Amy Smith