'A night you'll never forget': Stories of living through Hurricane Fiona on P.E.I.

'A night you'll never forget': Stories of living through Hurricane Fiona on P.E.I.
  • CBC News is offering updates on Hurricane Fiona on local CBC.ca sites and CBC Radio One. As well, a special extended version of Atlantic Tonight on Saturday at 7 p.m. AT and Sunday at 6 p.m. AT will include complete coverage of Hurricane Fiona and the aftermath from around the region.

The morning after Hurricane Fiona left a trail of downed trees and wires across Prince Edward Island, Islanders and tourists alike were telling stories about a night they'll never forget. The ones below were shared with CBC News.

Matthew from Hunter River

Sitting in his half-ton truck outside his home in Hunter River, Matthew spoke with CBC Radio's Vanessa Blanch to share his story. (He didn't give his last name on Saturday's regional call-in show.)

"Definitely one of the more terrifying nights I've lived. That was a wind unlike anything I've ever heard or seen," he said. "We had our barn doors ripped off last night ... we've shingles off of our roof. Our neighbour, he's got three trees on his house, all of the shingles off of his roof."

Matthew said the man living across from him had 40- or 50-year-old spruce trees in his yard, and about half of them came down across the power lines.

"The power lines are ripped down and just up the street a little, there's a lady — she had her barn collapsed ... just a mess. I've never seen anything like this."

Sheehan Desjardins/CBC
Sheehan Desjardins/CBC

Matthew's property lost 10 to 15 trees.

"Just a surreal sight to see ... our poor trees. When daybreak broke this morning, just looking outside and watching the trees, they were just bent right over, and it was just unbelievable to watch and just the howl and the growl of the wind.

"One of those nights you'll never forget."

Dakota from Charlottetown

Dakota also called CBC Radio Saturday morning to speak with Blanch. (She also didn't give a last name.)

"The night was absolutely crazy, I was up all night because I was literally worried that the house was going to come down," she said.

"There's like seven trees down. They just snapped. When I went outside, my trampoline literally flew at me and tried to kill me."

Don Carr from Charlottetown

Don Carr was out Saturday to take a look at the damage that Fiona left on his hometown's streets. He spoke with reporters from CBC P.E.I.

"I don't envy anyone who has to be out today," he said.


"I'm 77 years old and there's only one hurricane that I can think of that was anywhere close, and that was Hurricane Hazel years and years ago — 60 years ago — but this tops it all."

Carr does home renovations and is semi-retired.

"I've been trying to cut back since I was 60, and it's not working, and this isn't going to help," he said. "We do a lot of work on decks and I lost my own deck so I'm going to have to start with that one first."

Tom Pound from Charlottetown

Tom Pound was also surveying the damage in Charlottetown Saturday morning.

"I was awake most of the night. I've never seen anything like it."


"It's unreal. The damage it's done," he said. "This power's not coming back on too awful quick. It's going to be out for some time ... there's poles down all over the place, no matter where you go."

For now, Pound was heading home to do as instructed by local authorities.

"They're announcing on the radio to stay in, and that's what my advice is — to stay in."

Jackie and Todd Kitchen from Ontario

Todd and Jackie Kitchen never expected this to happen on their one-week vacation to P.E.I. that doubled as a house-hunting trip. The Ontario couple shared their story with CBC's Katie Nicholson from the motel where they're staying.

"This is not a great advertisement for moving to the East Coast!" said Todd.


"It was a rough night — rainy, windy," said Jackie."Power went out at 1:30 a.m. and we knew we were in trouble at that time. And it started sounding like a train was coming through … very strong winds.

"We got the emergency alert on our phones saying, 'Stay in, stay away from the doors, stay away fro the windows,' so that's what we did."

The couple was supposed to fly out tomorrow, but those plans are now up in the air.

"No internet, I can't get though to my parents, can't get through to anyone in Ontario, so we don't know what's going on with our flight," said Jackie. "Yesterday we checked on the website and everything was cancelled coming in today obviously."

But they said they're making the best of it.

"We've got bread, we've got peanut butter, we've got a pot of water on the stove," said Jackie.

"We travel about once a year and every time I bring a flashlight and a deck of cards. And guess what I didn't bring this one time? A flashlight and a deck of cards!" said Todd.

The Forsyths from Truro

At the same motel, just a couple of doors down from the Kitchens, Janet Forsyth also spoke with Nicholson. She and her husband had brought a couple of relatives across the Confederation Bridge from Truro, N.S., on Friday.

"I'm really from the Island  ... so we have family here we're going to visit so we came anyway," she said.


She said they knew the storm was coming but decided to travel anyway, bringing lots of food, tea, coffee and a propane tank to heat up water.

And it seems they plan to extend some Maritime hospitality to their Ontario motel neighbours, the Kitchens.

"We'll invite them over and have a few drinks," Forsyth said.