PEI

Storm surge waters rise on P.E.I.'s North Shore

The community of French River, on P.E.I.'s North Shore, is feeling the effects of a storm surge Thursday morning.

'Kids may not realize that if you step a few more feet you're over the wharf and over your head'

A storm surge was spreading water over the highway at the Brackley Beach entrance to P.E.I. National Park Thursday morning. (Submitted by Justin Clow)

The community of French River, on P.E.I.'s North Shore, is feeling the effects of a storm surge Thursday morning.

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the entire province. That includes a storm surge for the North Shore.

It's hard to see the wharf under the water in French River. (Submitted by Pam MacLeod)

"Strong northerly winds will continue to move water onshore today resulting in elevated water levels and the risk for more coastal flooding along the North Shore," said CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland.

Fishermen keeping close eye on wharf

In French River, Pam MacLeod posted pictures of the waters rising in the harbour shortly after 10 a.m. High tide was due in the community around noon.

Peter Pidgeon, a lobster fisherman who owns a fish house on the French River South wharf, said he's been down to check on his building every few hours since last night, but so far it sustained no significant damage.

He said water levels rose to about two feet above the wharf around 10:30 a.m. and have slowly started to recede since then.

Some people went down to Covehead Harbour to watch the large waves. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

"We had some water in the floor of the fish house, but nothing too serious yet," Pidgeon said. "It's dropped a bit but we'll see how the rest of the day goes."

Pidgeon said while storm surges aren't a regular occurrence at the wharf, he always tries to be well prepared. He said he stores valuable equipment that shouldn avoid getting wet high above ground level, and makes sure all his traps and equipment are secure.

"We expect this from time to time, you get them every four or five years," he said. 

Buildings on the harbour in French River seeing the effects of a storm surge two hours before high tide. (Submitted by Pam MacLeod)

Brian Paynter, who owns French River Fisheries located on the same wharf, said he's also monitoring the situation closely. He warned people to keep their distance from the area during the surge, as it's difficult to know when water levels could rise again or how much of the wharf is under water.

"Kids may not realize that if you step a few more feet you're over the wharf and over your head," he said.

The weather is also causing problems for Maritime Electric, with more than 45,000 customers without power.

A winter storm warning includes a storm surge on the North Shore. (Submitted by Pam MacLeod)

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