Hurricane Igor causes severe damage to Rural Newfoundland

Hurricane Igor hit the island portion of the province, namely the Burin, Bonavista and Avalon Peninsulas on Tuesday, bringing record rainfall in a very short period of time, reporting over 230 mm in some areas. This, coupled with high winds washed out a number of roads (including the TCH), damaged infrastructure, knocked out communications/utilities – leaving more than 50,000 without power.

The provincial government describes the magnitude of the infrastructure damage from Hurricane Igor as severe. The impact of the storm was unprecedented in this province. Regional emergency management and planning officials, fire protection officers and provincial engineers are advising on issues of temporary bridge and road access, water and sewer repairs, and other infrastructure repairs. More permanent repairs will take longer.

One death has been reported. Condolences are extended to the family of the 80 year old man of Random Island, who was slept out to sea after a driveway gave way underneath him.

Despite, more than 50 communities still remain isolated, there has been progress on improving conditions as power has been restored to more than 40,000 customers. Utility crews are working around the clock to restore power. As well, temporary bridges are being installed to enable transportation or goods and emergency services to assist people in the area. There is still a lot of work to be done to make the situation more comfortable for many residents of Newfoundland. It may be many weeks or even longer before some people’s lives are back to a more normal state.

It is during trying times like this when we rely on our sense of community. It is during times like this when we need our neighbours to extend help each other through difficult times. As Newfoundlanders & Labradorians, we are known for our hospitality, often extending a helping hand in any way possible.

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We can not plan and be prepared for all natural disasters. However, we can certainly learn from this situation to become better prepared for the future. The province has received more tropical storms and natural disasters in recent years. We must as citizens become better prepared in times of emergency. We should ensure we have a supply of food and water for a minimum of 72 hours, a radio, batteries, flashlight and other necessities. How about having trained regional volunteer response teams? What about our armed forces? Are they able to place a greater role in the future with assisting in bring building, bringing supplies as they are well trained to deal with dire situations?

My thoughts are with my fellow Newfoundlanders & Labradorians that are experiencing ramifications as a result of this tropical storm.

Live Rural NL – CCM

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