Manitoba responds in Prince Edward Island post-Fiona

Topics: Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada, English Blog Categories
November 30, 2022

IMG_0135-(1).jpgThe damage seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona in Atlantic Canada and Quebec is hard to believe, short of seeing it with your own eyes. Prince Edward Island is among the hardest hit regions, with tens of thousands of residents left without power in the wake of the storm that damaged critical infrastructure.

Four hundred and fifty Red Cross personnel from across Canada have been deployed to affected regions since the storm hit on Sept. 24. Included among those responders is Communications Advisor, Manitoba and Nunavut, Laura Ellis, serving as local communications and issues management support for the Field Operations Team stationed in Charlottetown.

During her two-week deployment, Laura worked with site mangers and volunteers at all three reception centres in Charlottetown, Summerside and Montague. Due to the scale of damage from the hurricane, many people were left with spoiled food in their refrigerators from prolonged power outages. To try and combat these losses, the Red Cross distributed financial assistance, including funding on behalf of the Government of Prince Edward Island.

PEI’s fisheries and aquaculture industries estimate that early losses in the industry will top $70 million. Forestry experts estimate that 50 per cent of the Island’s softwood stock came down during the storm as well. Many Islanders have experienced substantial delays in clearing fallen trees and other debris from their homes as contracting and tree clearing services are in especially high demand.

Many well-known natural landmarks, including Teacup Rock at Thunder Cove Beach, did not survive the storm.

Reflecting on her time spent in PEI, Laura says that despite the hurdles and challenges the Red Cross team faced in order to meet the needs of all the impacted residents, the commitment from the volunteers and staff on the ground was inspiring.

“There have been many operational challenges given the sheer number of people who have been affected and need support, but one thing that never wavered was the team’s dedication to the response.

Our site managers often arrive hours before reception centres open and stay long after close to see as many beneficiaries as possible. It takes a village to support all the people who have been affected by a storm of this magnitude and the level of compassion I’ve seen here every day never ceases to amaze me.”

Thanks to the generosity of Canadians who have contributed to the Canadian Red Cross Hurricane Fiona in Canada Appeal, the Red Cross is providing $500 in one-time financial assistance to eligible households from the most impacted areas who are unable to meet their basic needs. 

As of Nov.15, the Canadian Red Cross has distributed more than $44 million in financial assistance to over 83,000 eligible households in Atlantic Canada.

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