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Shediac, NB Boat Owners Prepare for Hurricane Fiona – New BrunswickNews JANI

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Gerry O’Brien looks out over the Shediac Bay Yacht Club Marina – dark clouds are ahead and the water is as still as can be.

It’s the calm before the storm – Hurricane Fiona, that is.

In 2019, Hurricane Dorian destroyed the marina. It tore up the docks and left boats of all sizes in a heap on the shore.

“Basically, we lost about 72 boats that were just stuck in the corner of the breakwater,” he said. “We had two and a half meters of storm surge and hurricane winds, so the marina was completely destroyed. We had to rebuild from scratch.”

Read more:

Hurricane Fiona to accelerate, bring ‘hurricane force winds’ to Atlantic Canada

During this time, O’Brien said he began asking boat owners to get their watercraft out of the marina early.

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“Over the last 24 hours we’ve had a number of boats that have been taken away,” he said. “We have been tracking the storm since last week and we have been advising members since the beginning of the week — now may be the time to withdraw. Looks like a big storm is on the way.”

Hurricane Fiona is tracking towards Atlantic Canada and is likely to make landfall late Friday. Canadian Hurricane Center forecasters said the storm has the potential to become a “landmark” weather event.

Read more:

Hurricane Fiona remains a ‘potentially severe event’ for Atlantic Canada

The impacts are expected to be more significant in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, but the people of Shediac are taking no chances.

Miles Hall took his boat out of the marina on Wednesday and returned to help move his friend’s sailboat. He said sailboats are difficult to get out of the water and require more than one person.

“It’s better to have the boat out of the water than in the water,” he said Thursday. “I’m pretty new to the whole boating scene but I’ve definitely seen Remnant of Dorian from a few years ago and I have no interest in that being part of my boat.”

John Emery’s boat was saved in 2019, escaping Dorian’s wrath with just a few scratches, but he’s not taking any chances with Fiona.

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“Several of us are getting our boats out as fast as we can,” he said. “Usually, at the end of September, we’ll say to ourselves, ‘We’ll get a few more herds.’ And then, you know, we have an event like this and it’s just a kick in the pants to get everything out.”

Pierre Basque is a new boat owner and hasn’t had a chance to take his boat out on the water yet. He said he was listening to all the warnings about the impending storm.

“It’s worth taking seriously for what’s coming up on the weekend,” Bask said.

Storm surges, which are common in coastal communities like Shediac, are expected to affect New Brunswick. Fiona is also expected to bring higher than normal water levels.

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