Dorian pummels county

Community Featured
Jim Nicholson piles brush from the storm.

Heather Murphy will long remember her weekend encounter with hurricane Dorian.

“I thought I was going off the face of the earth,” she said, while describing the ferocious shoreline wave action in front of her home early Sunday near Waterside.

Murphy volunteers at Caribou District Fire Hall, one of several fire halls that set up comfort centres on Sunday in the county.

She stayed to get a meal from a chip wagon, whose staff members were preparing it free of charge while getting power from the fire hall’s generator, while also recharging her cell phone — as did several others who arrived at the hall over the afternoon.

She was soon called away to return home where someone was arriving to remove a tree that fell on her home.

Murphy was among those who recalled shrieking winds but not the heavy rain forecast.

Darla MacKeil, whose represents District 2 on Pictou County Municipal Council, also visited the hall.

“The most important thing is taking care of our people,” she said. “We’re lucky to have this (fire hall) in the community.”

Caribou’s fire chief, Robert Weaver, said his department offered on Saturday to establish the comfort centre.

“We felt noon on Sunday would be a good time to have a cup of coffee or tea and conversation,” he said.

Dorian was described as a post-tropical storm that packed hurricane-force winds at times as it crossed Nova Scotia from around Halifax through Pictou County. However, the storm’s size resulted in windy, rainy conditions and widespread power and internet outages across the province.

Most areas of the county were affected at one time with power outages.

Fat Tony’s offered free hot beverages and sold a breakfast plate through Sunday morning; Red’s Chip Wagon posted to Facebook: “Siince all four people working on the chip wagon are volunteer firefighters, we decided to give back to the community. We are giving away free food while supplies last at the Caribou River Fire Hall. We were graciously gifted with hot dogs, hot dog buns, hamburger buns and ketchup by Sobeys in Pictou and hamburger meat by Tbone. This is for our community, so if you are in our community and have no power but need a hot meal please come out.”

Similarly, Shiretown Dental’s Drs. Kora Hanrahan and Ed Hawkins, who were fortunate enough to have power at their home, set up a do it yourself coffee stand on their property in Pictou and found that throughout the day Sunday people had been restocking it with coffee pods and biscuits.

“We felt very lucky to have power,” Janet Halverson said.

The Pictou-North Colchester Exhibition was among the weekend casualties. Officials decided to cancel all events scheduled for Saturday and Sunday due to the storm and resulting lack of electricity on the exhibition grounds.

The Pictou County Weeks Crushers’ pre-season hockey game in Truro on Saturday was cancelled, as well as a weekend major bantam early bird hockey tournament in Lantz. The stock car racing program slated for Saturday in James River was postponed a week.

Pictou Landing First Nation hosted a breakfast at its fire hall on Monday. A generator powered the needs for those preparing and serving the hot dogs to the kids, as well as scrambled egg and ham slices. From left: John Fraser, Dominic Denny and Jenny Fraser were busy preparing the items. Power at PLFN went off Saturday evening and residents from Hillside through Pictou Landing and eastward toward Little Harbour remained without electricity. (Goodwin photo)

From left: Darla MacKeil, Louise Nichol and Heather Murphy were able to access food and beverages and recharge their cell phones on Sunday at Caribou District Fire Hall, one of several comfort centres that opened. (Goodwin photo)