The damage left in Newfoundland from Hurricane Igor was enough for military forces to be called in. But now, the Canadian military is preparing to wrap up its relief effort.
About 400 soldiers are still working on roads and bridges in the province, down from more than 1,000 soldiers just over a week ago. The army helped many communities that were cut off from the mainland during the storm. One of them was Trouty on the Bonavista Peninsula.
Igor lashed Newfoundland on Tuesday, September 21 as a Category One storm, with torrential rain and damaging winds. Because the eye of the storm never made landfall, it maintained its intensity as it moved northwards.
On Friday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper toured Trouty and Britannia, two communities hit hard by the storm. When in Trouty, Harper said, “I've never seen any flooding like this. I've never seen damage like this in Canada...It's a pretty tough cleanup going on here.” And that prompted the assistance of the military.
The Canadian navy's HMCS Fredericton arrived in St. John's harbour on Saturday. Repairs to roads and bridges have been high priority on the agenda.
“There's a bridge that has been put in at Trouty. The bridge was basically ripped away,” says Major James Simiana with the Canadian Forces in St. John's. To put the physical impact of Igor on the community into perspective, Simiana says, “it's as if a glacier went through.”
Before the military arrived, residents used telephone poles and planks to build a footbridge. For about a week's time, it was the only access they had to available food and water. The provincial government has also stationed one ferry and two helicopters in Clarenville in order to help get out supplies to other isolated communities.
On Random Island, Igor turned deadly. The body of an 80-year-old man swept out to sea during the storm was found on a Random Island beach over the weekend.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre is saying no other hurricane of this magnitude has struck Newfoundland in the modern era.
The Burin Peninsula was hit particularly hard by Igor. Marystown and St. Lawrence were drenched with more than 200 mm of rain in only 20 hours. As a result, entire roads were washed away and concrete bridges collapsed.
The east coast of Newfoundland also took a major hit from Igor. Parts of the Avalon and Bonavista Peninsulas were soaked with close to 190 mm of rain.
The heavy rain associated with Igor began tapering off in the afternoon hours, but the powerful winds continued. A wind gust of 137 km/h was recorded at St. John's International Airport. More than 50,000 customers were left without electricity across the province
The Canadian Red Cross is bolstering its response to communities in eastern Newfoundland impacted by Hurricane Igor. You can make a donation by calling 1-800-418-1111
For more on the clean-up effort in Newfoundland, make sure you tune into The Weather Network on TV, where our news updates come up at :12 and :42 minutes past each hour. You can also find photos and stories from our viewers on The Weather Network's Facebook page.
With files from The Canadian Press, Andrea Stockton and Lisa Varano