Written by Angie Lynch
Friday we spent 8.5 hours prepping BiHi Park for Hurricane Dorian. Our main concern was securing all materials so that they did not get picked-up by wind and possibly do damage to the surrounding infrastructure or get damaged themselves; since our farm is still under-construction, there was a lot of work to do! With the help of volunteers from the MetroWorks Options Program and the Metroworks Newcomer Women’s Employment Program we: gathered all the metal signs from around the farm; pounded wooden stakes securely in the ground; harvested beans and tomatoes; picked up any loose materials from around the plots; sorted and consolidated all wood into two piles, and then secured them under tarps; placed our large signs, benches, and chairs into a StoneHearth truck; stuffed all other loose material into our shed; flipped all of our wheelbarrows over and weighed them down; flipped over our large table and the picnic tables; got a water delivery so our water tanks would be weighed-down; and finally, screwed shut the doors on the shed, cabinets, and free food pantry. By the time an exhausted Sara, Jessica and I left on Friday evening, we weren’t sure if we were hoping for a dud of a storm, or the huge storm that we had just spent all day preparing for; we obviously didn’t want a large destructive storm, but we also hoped we hadn’t just wasted a whole day prepping for nothing.
We’re definitely thankful we prepared for the worst.
Over the weekend, our province was hit with a powerful post-tropical storm. Don’t be fooled by the terminology, post-tropical storms are structurally different than hurricanes, but they can be just as intense, and just as powerful as hurricanes. According to the Weather Network, Dorian hit as a hurricane strength post-tropical cyclone, with wind gusts up to 145km/hr, total rainfall amounts of 50 to 140 mm in southwestern to central Nova Scotia, and reported water level in Halifax of 2.9 metres with a surge of 1.5 metres. To top it all off, NS Power has reported the largest power-outage ever recorded for Nova Scotia, with over 400 000 customers affected by overnight Saturday. As I write this on Monday afternoon, there are still over 160 000 Nova Scotia homes without power. All this is to say, Dorian was a beast.
Luckily for us, it seems as though all that hard work paid off, as both Sara and I have visited the farm and it looks as though we made it through mostly unscathed. Some of the large trees in the park lost large branches, and our farm isn’t quite as vertical as it was on Friday (r.i.p. some of our sunflowers, tomatoes, corn, and beans), but overall our little farm is doing very well. And thankfully, the storm didn’t blow away our pollinator friends; there were still lots of bees, butterflies, and other creatures hanging out on flowers this morning.
Arsenault, T. (2019). Dorian vs. Juan: A smaller punch but much more widespread. Retrieved from https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/news/halifax/dorian-vs-juan-a-smaller-punch-but-much-more-widespread-349930/
Prentiss, M. (2019). Hundreds of thousands in Atlantic Canada still in the dark after Hurricane Dorian. Retreived from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/hundreds-of-thousands-still-in-the-dark-after-hurricane-dorian-1.5275706
The Weather Network. (2019). Tropical Cyclone Information Statement. Retrieved from https://www.theweathernetwork.com/ca/alerts/high-alert/nova-scotia/halifax