What Thanksgiving in the Maritimes looks like after Fiona


Darlene Hughes will flip 65 on Sunday, but it surely will not be fairly the birthday — or the Thanksgiving — she had hoped for.

Hughes had deliberate a small occasion at her Charlottetown house with family and friends to have a good time her age milestone and the vacation — however that was earlier than the highly effective wind gusts from post-tropical storm Fiona tore down energy traces throughout the province.

Instead, she stated in an interview Thursday, she’ll be spending the weekend coping with out mild or warmth and cleansing buddies’ houses for some further money. And for the first time, she and her husband is not going to be having fun with a Thanksgiving meal.

“Well, Thanksgiving,” she stated, her voice breaking with emotion, “I at all times prepare dinner a turkey. And it is at all times my birthday weekend. And there will be no turkey.”

It’s a narrative that is taking part in out throughout Atlantic Canada: the vacation weekend has been dampened for hundreds in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia who’re nonetheless with out energy — nearly two weeks since Fiona hit on Sept. 24. About 4,000 houses and companies in Nova Scotia spent their thirteenth day with out energy on Thursday, whereas nearly 9,000 houses and companies had been nonetheless in the darkish in P.E.I.

Hughes stated she and her husband even have to deal with the mess the storm left on their property. “We’re too outdated for this proper now — lugging branches and lifting branches and fixing fences. We’ve misplaced all our fences in the again.”

On Thursday morning, Hughes’s husband known as a lodge to ebook a desk for Saturday night time to allow them to have a good time her birthday, however the value was daunting. “We cannot afford it,” she stated. “But he put it on his bank card and he stated, ‘We’ll cope with it later.”‘

The couple are on a hard and fast earnings and have spent most of their cash on meals and fuel since the storm. They needed to throw out nearly every thing in their fridge and may’t prepare dinner at house.

“We ate breakfast sooner or later, and it was $44 to have breakfast, and that was only a breakfast like a bacon and eggs,” she stated.

“I received a espresso and it was nearly $5 for a espresso. It was $4.25 for a medium espresso. Like actually? Like, that is simply loopy.”

She paused.

“I’d relatively drink vodka,” she stated with fun.

About 350 kilometres to the east, in Sydney, N.S., Robert Grafilo stated he expects to have some type of Thanksgiving dinner with the buddies in whose house he and his household live. Maybe even “just a few drinks,” he added.

But Thanksgiving dinner will include a facet of tension as a result of Grafilo, a 45-year-old retail employee who grew up in the Philippines, must discover a new house after the duplex in which he lived was crushed by a maple tree throughout the storm.

After the constructing was evacuated, Grafilo, his spouse and their two boys, aged 10 and three, spent a part of their financial savings on accommodations for per week. When the energy returned in elements of the metropolis, shut buddies inside the small Filipino group took the couple into their house in the Whitney Pier neighbourhood.

“What a time for this vacation (Thanksgiving) to come back, as we’re on the lookout for a house. It can be regular, if this storm hadn’t occurred,” Grafilo stated.

Jhoy Agbada stated she and her husband and their two kids needed to assist the Grafilos by giving them a brief place to remain. “I do know that although they’re smiling, they’re heartbroken inside,” she stated.

“It’s like I simply need them to really feel that they don’t seem to be alone in this sort of scenario …. We will have a good time it and have a easy gathering for Thanksgiving. We ought to nonetheless have a good time it as a result of we ought to be grateful they’re protected.”

Just a few kilometres away, in the Ashby neighbourhood of downtown Sydney, Sona Sudharsan; his companion, Sandra Sudharsan; and their toddler boy are additionally planning a Thanksgiving meal, although a tree continues to be leaning in opposition to the house they hire.

They’ll be giving thanks for the return of energy, for the members of the metropolis’s Indian group and for the Salvation Army, which delivered meals throughout the darkish durations following the storm.

“After a tough few weeks, we’d like some leisure,” Sona Sudharsan stated.

Grafilo stated he’s grateful for family and friends who dropped off meals and clothes throughout his household’s sojourn in accommodations. “We’re grateful we’re nonetheless alive, protected and sound. That’s what issues.”

Hughes stated she’s grateful for her husband and her well being. “Well, I suppose I should not be doing a lot complaining,” she stated. “And I’m not hungry. And I’m not chilly proper now. But I’m fed up. I’m simply fed up.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Oct. 7, 2022.


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