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PHOTOS: Dorian’s aftermath felt long after the storm in Annapolis Valley


GREENWOOD, N.S. —

Chainsaws whirred in the background Sunday morning as Bobbi-Jo Wagner stood on her front lawn, sizing up the fallen tree leaning on her Greenwood home.

“The tree on my front lawn has split and it came crashing into one of the bedroom windows. It’s completely covered my front door, so I can’t get in or out the front,” she said.

The damage hidden under the cloak of darkness as post-tropical storm Dorian’s wind and rain whirled through the Annapolis Valley into the wee morning hours of Sept. 8 was clear to see come daybreak.

And it was all around her.

Wagner’s property was one of the harder hit locations within 14 Wing Greenwood’s residential housing area. It was certainly a conversation starter as passersby made their way through the neighbourhood in Dorian’s wake.

Military personnel working to clear downed trees and fallen limbs away from collapsed power lines nearby assured Wagner the crew would turn their attention to her home as soon as possible.

She completely understood.

More than anything, she was happy no one was hurt.

“We heard this huge crash,” she said, noting that the collapse happened in the early afternoon Sept. 7.

“We were just climbing this tree a couple days ago, so I wouldn’t have thought that it wasn’t stable.”

Wagner decided to get her daughter and their cat out of the house for the duration of the storm. Weather forecasts warned that it would persist for hours, and the fallen tree had started putting pressure on a window upstairs.

“It was frightening. My daughter wasn’t happy because she thought there would be a tree that would crash into her bedroom window… so I moved her and her cat to a safer place.”

The white-knuckled drive was one Wagner won’t soon forget.

“We’re out driving around and there’s power lines down everywhere in the streets, trees are coming down and the police are out – you can’t get by one street – and I’m trying to get to where I need to bring her, and I’ve got to circle around all these different streets,” she recalled.

She saw a number of large trees that crashed down on what would typically be busy roadways in her community.

“At some point when these did come crashing down, we were very lucky that no one was driving underneath,” Wagner said.

“That’s what I found the most unsettling.”

In a Dorian summary, Environment Canada says destructive hurricane force wind gusts of up to 145 km/h were recorded in communities lining the Atlantic Coast from Yarmouth to Cape Breton.

The weather agency had reports of 93 km/h wind gusts sweeping through Greenwood.

“Peak power outages over Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick reached over 500,000 customers,” reads Environment Canada’s Dorian summary.

Cleanup and power recovery efforts were expected to be measured in days, not hours, in Dorian’s aftermath.

At Dorian’s peak, about 400,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were without electricity.

“Dorian has been the most impactful storm in Nova Scotia Power’s history and has led to our largest mobilization of personnel,” reads a Nova Scotia Power Facebook post published the morning after the storm.

Environment Canada's Dorian rainfall summary (millimetres):

  • Kentville: 110.4
  • Berwick: 98
  • Scots Bay: 94
  • Greenwood: 82
  • Middleton: 79
  • Kejimkujik: 64

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