Islanders left scrambling for contractors and tree removal after Fiona
'I've never experienced anything like that before. It was quite a lot.'
People across P.E.I. are in urgent need of home repairs and help removing trees knocked down by post-tropical storm Fiona — but for some, getting that help hasn't been easy.
Suzanne Dudley's entire driveway, leading to the Rattenbury Road in Stanley Bridge, was blocked with roughly 20 large fallen trees as of Wednesday.
Dudley and her husband were stuck — there was no way of driving in or out.
"It's unnerving not being able to get out," she said.
"It's very scary to know you can't get out if you've got a medical emergency — or say there was a fire; they can't get in. That's the most frightening thing. We texted our usual tree cutter, but I think he's totally overwhelmed."
Dudley said she left messages with P.E.I.'s Emergency Measures Organization and the Canadian Red Cross, but hadn't heard back.
"And I give up. I don't know who else to call," she said.
"I guess they're probably overwhelmed. And I understand that. I can understand we need patience. So, I've got patience, but I just want to be able to get out the driveway. That's all I ask."
'There was nobody'
Jake Mcaleer has no choice but to leave his apartment. The storm ripped off shingles, causing the roof to leak. He and his landlord tried to get it fixed before Tuesday's downpour.
"I said to the landlord, 'If you can even get someone out here with a ladder,' and he said, 'I've been calling contractors. I'm trying to get someone out to repair it.' And he was being told one week, two weeks. There was nobody that could even get a ladder to us."
Now there's extensive damage inside the apartment, and Mcaleer has moved in with relatives while hunting for a new place for himself and his two-year-old, with no other options he can afford.
"To be honest, I was driving home yesterday, and I had to pull over because I felt like I couldn't breathe when all of this was kicking in," he said.
"I've never experienced anything like that before. It was quite a lot. But I've got family and friends trying to help me out as best they can. So hopefully I can keep my mental attitude the way it is now, and push through it all."
Late on Wednesday, Dudley called CBC News to say she had finally gotten some help to clear the driveway.
But earlier in the day, she said she too was trying to stay positive — counting on her generator, an ample supply of food and a sense of humour to get by, while she and her husband waited for help.
Noting that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had come to visit Stanley Bridge on Tuesday, she quipped. "He forgot his chainsaw. It's too bad because he could've come here. It would've been a great photo op."
With files from CBC's Steve Bruce