A senior couple grateful for support recovering from the unexpected damage by Fiona

By Michelle-Andrea Girouard, Canadian Red Cross

Doug and his wife lay awake all night listening to the violent winds and debris crashing against their home when Hurricane Fiona hit. Like many of their neighbours in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, they’d been advised to prepare ahead of time, and had strapped down and cleaned as much as they could on their property the day before. But when their front door - closed and locked - was ripped off their house with a loud bang at 3 a.m., the severity of the storm became clear.
 
“It was very scary. Pieces of roof were flying by and you’re going, ‘Is that my roof or the neighbour’s roof?’” he recollected in a Canadian Red Cross reception centre. “I thank my lucky stars nobody got hurt.”
 
A white house with black shutters damaged due to Hurricane Fiona
Damage of a home in Pictou County.
Photo: Canadian Red Cross

When the two evaluated the aftermath, they found water in their living room, which had flooded down to their basement, as well as roof insulation that was soaked through.

The worst part about it all, he said, was that they lost power for two weeks and were unable to communicate with family, including his 90-year-old mother-in-law.

Doug, who had retired recently due to health problems, spent the next few weeks investing his savings and pension into repairing the damage. But with rising inflation and expenses, finances were already tight, “I’m just going month to month to month.”

So he turned to the Canadian Red Cross’ financial assistance program to help recover some of those costs.
 
“Thank God you guys are here,” he said. “It’s the expense, right? You’re not expecting it. Especially when you’re a senior.”
 
When asked how he remains hopeful, he replied, “I’m Catholic, so I pray. That’s what I do. We’re getting through it. If there’s anything we’ve learned, it’s that you can never count on everything being hunky-dory. You’re gonna have these things thrown at you.”

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