Monday, September 16, 2019

First Freeze of the Season possible for the Northern Half of Maine overnight

National Weather Service Caribou ME
302 PM EDT Mon Sep 16 2019

Northwest Aroostook-Northeast Aroostook-Northern Somerset-
Northern Piscataquis-Northern Penobscot-Southeast Aroostook-
Including the cities of Allagash, Clayton Lake, Madawaska,
Fort Kent, Frenchville, Presque Isle, Caribou, Van Buren,
Mars Hill, Baker Lake, Billy-Jack Depot, Baxter St Park,
Chamberlain Lake, Churchill Dam, Mount Katahdin, Millinocket,
East Millinocket, Patten, Medway, Houlton, Hodgdon, Sherman,
and Smyrna Mills
302 PM EDT Mon Sep 16 2019


The National Weather Service in Caribou has issued a Freeze
Watch, which is in effect from late Tuesday night through
Wednesday morning.

* TEMPERATURES...28 to 34.

* TIMING...Late Tuesday night through early Wednesday morning

* IMPACTS...Frost and freeze conditions may damage or kill
  sensitive outdoor garden vegetation. Take steps by Tuesday
  evening to protect outdoor garden plants from the cold.


A Freeze Watch means sub-freezing temperatures are possible.
These conditions could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.



Prince Edward Island electricity fully restored following Dorian

Last few thousand outages a daunting challenge

Kevin Yarr · CBC News · Posted: Sep 16, 2019 7:26 AM AT | Last Updated: 11 hours ago

Utility poles held up, but trees on the lines cut electricity.

Eight days after post-tropical storm Dorian swept over P.E.I., Maritime Electric restored power to all of its customers.

Company spokesperson Kim Griffin said the last storm-related outage was restored at 3 a.m. Monday.

Last Sunday morning outages peaked at almost 65,000, but Griffin said in some ways the last couple of thousand were the hardest.

"It could be daunting when you look at the system on Saturday and Sunday and say we have X thousand customers out but they're all individual or outages of one or two," she said.

"You're looking at can we get all this done over the next two days?"

The Maritime Electric outage maps was showing two customers without power at 6:43 a.m. Monday. Griffin said those were new outages, and that it a handful of outages on the system is not uncommon in day-to-day operation.

Resilient infrastructure

While the power is on, the utility still faces weeks of work cleaning up around the lines, Griffin said.

Despite outages that covered almost the whole province, Griffin said the overall the infrastructure in the system held up very well.

"In the end we had 90 to 100 poles reported down out of about 130,000. The challenge for us was simply the hundreds and hundreds of trees that were down across our lines," she said.

Work will begin to Monday on calculating the cost of the storm.

Nova Scotia Power Crews work to fix last of Dorian-related power outages

400,000 Nova Scotia Power customers lost power at the height of the outages

CBC News · Posted: Sep 16, 2019 9:49 AM AT | Last Updated: 6 hours ago

Most of the few remaining Nova Scotia Power customers still without electricity after Dorian ripped through the province more than a week ago should have their power restored by late Monday afternoon, according to the utility's website.

On Monday morning, there were fewer than 100 customers still without power because of Dorian. Only a few pockets of power outages remained, most of which are expected to be fixed before 5 p.m., according to the website. 

Only people living on the LaHave Islands on the South Shore and those near Sheet Harbour are not expected to have their power back by that time, and may have to wait until Tuesday.

In a news release, Nova Scotia Power said the LaHave Islands and islands off Indian Point in Mahone Bay had several poles and several hundred metres of power lines knocked down by Dorian.

Crews and equipment must be transported to the islands by boat and helicopter, but the utility expects full repairs in the area will be completed in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Some power crews are now starting to shift from emergency power restoration work to previously scheduled customer work that was put on hold while the damage from Dorian was repaired. However, the utility will keep its emergency operations centre open until the final customer has their power back, said the release. 

Dorian made landfall in Nova Scotia on Saturday Sept. 7 and its hurricane-strength winds knocked over trees, ripped down power lines and damaged roofs. At one point, 411,000 homes and businesses lost

their electricity. Over the ensuing week there were another 50,000 additional outages, mostly caused by weakened trees.

The Canadian Armed Forces were called in to help with the cleanup. They wrapped up their work Sunday.

In total, 450 members of Joint Task Force Atlantic were involved in the military's response to the storm.

They were deployed to many regions across the province and surveyed 9,000 kilometres of roadway. By the time they finished their work they had helped reopen 445 kilometres of road and had removed

more than 600 trees along with other debris, according to a news release from the province's emergency management office. But not everything is back to normal.

In Halifax there are several targeted street restrictions in place including street closures, parking bans and traffic control measures to allow for the removal of downed trees.

The roads impacted include Stairs Place, Waterloo Street, Hillside Avenue, North Street, Kline Street and Cathedral Lane.

The municipal website said that prohibited parking signs will be in place where necessary and vehicles will be towed if they are impeding the work or tree-removal crews. Traffic control personnel will also be on site in some areas.

Vehicle and pedestrian traffic continues to be restricted in and around the collapsed construction crane on South Park Street.

Nova Scotia Blueberry farmer looking at massive losses post-Dorian

'There's hardly anything there to pick now,' says Earl Kidston of the Nova Agri Group

Brooklyn Currie, Robyn Simon · CBC News · Posted: Sep 16, 2019 3:05 PM AT | Last Updated: 3 hours ago

A blueberry farmer in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley is dealing with significant crop loss after Hurricane Dorian blew through the province earlier this month.

Earl Kidston, founder and president of the Nova Agri Group, said his company likely lost $500,000 worth of high-bush blueberries during Dorian, which was a post-tropical storm when it made landfall on

Sept. 7 in Halifax and had hurricane-strength winds.

Kidston said he won't know the full extent of the damage to other crops until later in the year.

"It's not just the ripe fruit that gets dismantled off the bush. It's some of our next pick," he said. "There's hardly anything there to pick now."

Nova Agri — or Dykeview Farms — sells products under the brand Country Magic. Kidston is part of one of the five families that make up the group.

Despite the slim pickings, the blueberry U-pick at Dykeview Farms remains open.

Since getting into the blueberry business in the 1990s, Kidston said nothing hit his blueberry crop as hard as Dorian. He said the last time a hurricane hit, it was earlier in the season and did more damage to the bush than the actual fruit.

"This is worse, and it's worse for people too, and all the people we work with, and businesses we work with," he said. "Because it means that what was going to market is not going now."

As well as losing much of his crop, Kidston said an unfortunate side-effect is the impact it's having on people who pick and package blueberries. Of the 500 people employed at Nova Agri during harvest time, about 200 are temporary foreign workers.

Kidston says it's not just the ripe blueberries that were knocked down in the storm, he also lost many of the blueberries that would have been ripe by their next pick. (Robyn Simon/CBC) Jose Luis Perez, a temporary foreign worker from Mexico, spent the past month picking blueberries in the Annapolis Valley.

"Many people want [to go] back to Mexico because [there's] no work," he said.

A look at the damage to Nova Agri's grape tomato crops caused by Hurricane Dorian. (Robyn Simon/CBC)

Perez said workers have been barely working since the hurricane and aren't able to send money back to support their families.

Kidston said some temporary foreign workers were heading home this past weekend. He said they'd like to figure out a way to have work for those who want to stay, but it's not as easy as finding an opening on another crop.

Kidston says while much of his crop was lost, the U-pick is still open for those looking to pick their own. (Robyn Simon/CBC)

Kidston said transferring temporary foreign workers to a different placement — like harvesting apples or Christmas trees — needs to be organized several months in advance.

"The program is not very conducive to help us in times like these," Kidston said. "When there's other jobs that they could do, but they're not allowed to ... this program needs to be revamped."

Lack of answers, compensation frustrates Halifax residents after crane collapse

'I'm wondering why we're left out of the loop,' says Rebecca Carole, who was evacuated from her home

Anjuli Patil · CBC News · Posted: Sep 16, 2019 5:11 PM AT | Last Updated: an hour ago

A toppled building crane is draped over a new construction project in Halifax on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Hurricane Dorian brought wind, rain and heavy seas that knocked out power across the region, left

damage to buildings and trees as well as disrupted transportation.

Some residents who were evacuated from their homes after a crane recently collapsed in downtown Halifax are wondering when they'll receive compensation for the time they've been forced to spend out of their homes.

Rebecca Carole has lived in the area around Spring Garden Road and South Park Street for about two years. As of Sunday, she said she and her partner had spent an additional $1,500 on accommodations and food.

"It was only a couple of days into the month, so we already paid our rent for the month, so that's two rents and we don't get to live there," Carole said from Canning, N.S.

"So, it's really getting down to the wire financially and any updates we have ever gotten back have been through news sources or friends of family."

As of Monday, the crane — which collapsed onto a building during Hurricane Dorian on Sept. 7 — is still draped over the building and crews are trying to safely remove it. It's unclear how long that will take.

Carole, who has worked on the CBC show This Hour Has 22 Minutes, outlined her concerns in a Facebook post on Saturday.

Like other evacuees, she hasn't been able to get back into her building since the evacuation, so her partner, who works in video production, hasn't been able to access his work gear.

She's been in touch with her municipal councillor, Waye Mason. She said Mason put her in contact with W.M. Fares, the developer of the Trillium building and the building under construction where the crane was operating. Some residents of the Trillium were also evacuated.

Carole said she sent her receipts in, but has not heard from the company since Wednesday.

Wadih Fares, president and CEO of W.M. Fares, confirmed to CBC News in an email on Monday the company would be helping out evacuees "as a gesture of goodwill."

But Fares did not say how much money residents would be receiving or when it would be coming.

He said his company has been working directly with "building representatives" who have provided this information directly to those affected.

"The safety of those in proximity to the site remains the top priority for all parties," Fares said.

Mason said he's been trying to help evacuees.

"For some folks, it's been difficult because their bills are racking up and they're not going to get any money, maybe for weeks," he said.

Adding to the difficulty, Mason said, is the time of year. With back-to-school season, there are few vacant apartments in the downtown area.

"I completely understand how frustrating it is, you know, situations like this. There really isn't any government support on a municipal, provincial or federal level that comes quick," he said.

Carole said communication with evacuees needs to be improved. The day she and her partner were evacuated, she said someone from the fire department took their contact information.

"I'm wondering why we're left out of the loop. They could do a mass email to all the evacuees and just send us maybe an update a day or if something changes, then we can know," she said.

Mason agrees communication could be improved.

"All of the people responsible for removing the crane and the timeline don't work for HRM and none of them report to us, so often I don't know more than anybody else does," he said.

Since posting about what she and her partner have been going through, Carole said she's received a lot of support.

"The outpour of help has been incredible, it's very overwhelming. Friends I haven't spoken to in years have offered to drive here and help me find a place to stay, they've offered financial aid, couches to stay," she said.

"It's been amazing and so sweet so many people are willing to help us out."

Prince Edward Island tourism operators wondering about aid following Dorian

Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. says some concerned about damage

CBC News · Posted: Sep 16, 2019 6:00 PM AT | Last Updated: an hour ago

Post-tropical storm Dorian broke up a seawall and temporary sand dune meant to protect West Point Lighthouse, a popular stop for tourists visiting P.E.I.

The Island's fall tourism season is open, but the president of the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. says some operators suffered damage during post-tropical storm Dorian.

Operators are looking forward to the season, but those who have had some property damage are looking for some answers, said Kirk Nicholson.

"Some are concerned, you know, who have had damage to their properties wondering if there is going to be help out there, you know, if there is government help?" he said.

Nicholson said TIAPEI has sent letters to Premier Dennis King and Minister of Tourism Matthew MacKay to find out what is available to its members.

"We can pass that along to our members who have experienced, you know, damage to their property and such."

However, Nicholson is optimistic tourists won't be discouraged and will still think of the Island as a fall destination this year.

"Fall is a great time to be here on P.E.I., and we have lots of things still to do," he said.

Following Dorian, Nicholson said, the power is on, golf courses are open, events such as Fall Flavours are in full swing and beaches are still great for a fall walk.