JOY, as I write this, they've announced that some of the interior lights aren't working. So the pilot is calling in maintenance to see if we can take even take off. All this to fly into a city bracing itself for a hurricane!
Well, the tail of the hurricane anyway. And why am I flying into a storm? Because I'm going to see my daughter, son-in-law, and grandbabies in Halifax. My daughter, at 17, decided to go to the renowned University of Mount Allison in Sackville, New Brunswick. Fabulous school, but I tease her that the reason she went was that she couldn't get further away and be in the same country! Surprise, after Mount A came to Dalhousie, so she actually could get further away! She loves the Maritimes and now considers it home.
When I planned a trip last March, I didn't expect to collide with Hurricane Dorian. But our flight is in September and hurricanes do run up the east coast, so I guess it was always a possibility.
We, hubby and I have rented a HomeAway property. With my daughter's family, my son and us, we total seven. Too many for my daughter's home. But to enjoy that rental, I have to get off this darn plane!
I do, of course, EVENTUALLY, get off the plane. We took off right when we were scheduled to land in Halifax. Good timing - just a little backward. That leg of the trip, from Montreal to Halifax, should only have been two hours. It wasn't! Add the first leg from Vancouver to Montreal - it makes for a very long day.
Friday night - the following night -was beautiful. The proverbial calm before the storm. We attended a jazz concert at the boardwalk that my daughter was performing in, and it was a delight to see the grandbabies dancing to the music.
Halifax, though, WAS, bracing for a hurricane. By Saturday morning, I could feel the weather start changing. The wind picked up, and rain began to fall. Stores sold out of everything - especially bread, ice, and batteries. For some reason, the liquor store didn't seem that busy! Haligonian's made sure that their BBQ's were ready to go. We prepared by pre-cooking dinner. Luckily we had, as we lost our power at 2:30 pm.
I very much wanted to go to our rental. The government said to stay put and stay off the roads!
We pulled out candles and flashlights and settle in for a long night. I can hear the wind and rain batting the building, and things look dark and grey. We make it an early night.
In the morning, the sun comes out, and Halifax looks to see the damage that Hurricane Dorian has left in its wake. Luckily, there are no reports of deaths attributed to the storm. At the point of landfall, it was considered a post-tropical cyclone. I doubt the distinction, as to whether it was hurricane, cyclone or tropical storm, made any difference to the people whose houses had trees on top of them or to the developers of the new building the construction crane in downtown Halifax crashed onto. In light of the possible outcomes, in driving around on Sunday, it didn't seem so bad.
400,000 homes lost power - which was about 80% of Nova Scotia. Our electricity came back on about 5 pm Sunday, lasted briefly, and then left again till Monday morning. We were fortunate as the power at the cottage, as we were calling it, also came back on Monday morning. When we left Nova Scotia, the following Saturday, 40,000 homes were still without power.
But people and cities are resilience. The boardwalk, where we had spent a lovely Friday evening, had sustained substantial damage. I was told that it was repaired in under 24 hours. Probably, they said, to satisfy (pesky) tourists like us. Power was coming back on in most homes, and the clean up of trees and branches began in earnest.
Our lovely week continued, without any further impact from Dorian. I really enjoyed our magnificent view and our access to the beach. (See the images below to see why we enjoyed it so much.)
So there you have it - another been-there, done-that bucket list item - sort of, crossed off the list. Survived a hurricane.
NB - I have since seen many pictures of extreme damage - so I don't want to minimize the impact - we were just very fortunate not see more.