Alex Docherty of Sky View Farms in Elmwood, P.E.I., says a tarp barn at his farm was completely destroyed and another was severely damaged. (Laura Meader/CBC)
PEI was hit by hurricane Fiona last week and they are still dealing with severe damage
In a very quick report by phone with Greg Donald, General Manager of the PEI Potato Board, we were able to get an update on the damaged wreaked by hurricane Fiona across the island of PEI.
“The devastation is nothing like what we have seen before, it is widespread across the island” Greg said on a call this morning. With power lines down, trees blocking access to so many of the sideroads, and difficulties getting any supplies including fuel, all islanders are working hard just to get things back to “normal”. Greg is working as a liason with islanders to help find generators for those in need and find storage space for those who have lost warehouses. “At first the main issue was power, then fuel, but now it is the fallen trees. It could take a day for some farmers just to access a field” Greg recounted this morning on our call.
For potato farmers who were on the cusp of starting harvesting, the storm couldn’t have hit at a worse time. For some on the main roads, and more to the east of the island, harvest is progressing for those with power or generators. However, those in the west of the island had fields with much more moisture before the storm and may still be delayed even if power is restored.
In a follow up by email today, Greg explained, “Fortunately we are safe and keeping well. I heard this morning the power has been restored to about 55% of the households and businesses. There is an incredible amount of damage. Fortunately only 3 potato warehouses were lost but many other buildings were lost or damaged in varying degrees. A lot of farms are still without power and a lot of downed trees to contend with. I hope spuds are ok but ground pretty damp and needs to dry out a lot. We do not need anymore rain.” He reported that “About a dozen dairy barns were lost and many others like beef and storage buildings. Many of the coverall / tarp type buildings were lost or damaged including the Agromart. Cavendish was back on line earlier this week which is good. North Shoreline is a mess. Much of the docks and fishing infrastructure were destroyed or severely damaged. Sad all the damage. Entire woods flattened in places. It looks like a war zone in places.”
Our thoughts are with our friends and colleagues in PEI and we are all here to assist wherever possible.