Hi and Welcome to the A & J PEI Treasures E Jean Simpson Author Blog Post and Podcast. I’m your host, Jean coming to you from the beautiful Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada!! The blog post and podcast is an opinion piece and only reflects this author’s opinion and not that of any other entity. I hold no designations in politics, economics or medicine. I am retired from the mental health field and I am a humanitarian and speak from that viewpoint only. Whether you agree or not, at least I hope it makes you think. When you’re in the path of a hurricane, you need to check your ego at the door. It’s not for the faint of heart. If you want to find out more, then stay tuned…!
This past week, we had Hurricane Fiona touch down in our Province. Various areas in the Atlantic Canada region got varying degrees of severity. At one point our area was supposed to have gotten 150km/h gusts. I think it was some of that which took out our power early Friday morning. Really early, we’re talking like 3 or 3:30AM. Thereafter we were dependent on a generator to keep things running. Without a generator, we would have been much worse off. We lost power for a few days. According to my husband, we regained power in half the time that we did with Dorian. We were in much better shape this time around. You see, after Dorian, we knew that the generator that we had would not work for a larger storm where we lose power for more than a day. So, we made a wise investment in getting another generator. I also learned from that time, that we needed to have food put up for later. Though being a child of the Maritimes, I knew that this would be a good idea from the start. So, when I heard Hurricane Fiona was on the way, I did a lot of preparation work. This included, with hubby’s help, cooking extra meals ahead. Making biscuits. Doing all the laundry. Hubby also made sure that things were tied down outside or put away. I knew that without power, it might be awhile until we could get things done again. One other thing I knew was that without power, we have no internet. So, nothing online would be done. I did the blog post and podcast early and had them auto release. My posting for the week ended on Sunday, so my Twitter posts had run out. Of course I knew there was nothing I could do about it, so wasn’t that concerned as I knew I’d have to catch up once power was back.
After losing power, I discovered that I had, without asking for it, and having my Kindle turned off, I had been locked out of my Kindle Account. Somehow, it auto updated…I could not sign in…I would have to reset it as it seemed to have reset itself magically. So much for modern convenience. So, when I usually would have e-books I could read, I had nothing. Not to be deterred and having had trouble with Amazon lately with my e-books being up and down like a yo yo, I was not deterred by this. If you don’t have e-books, then you find something else. We had bought a new computer, so I did what set up I could from offline. Got to learn a bit about some new programs. Tried some of them out. Discovered a game Mahjong on it. This was a good thing. I hate games, but this is different. Much like solitaire, it involves thinking and no violence. So, I became engrossed in that. I also had colouring books, so keep busy between the two.
In the meantime, things started to slow with the storm and they got the power back up. Thank you Maritime Electric! You see, I had noticed over the past three years, that they had contractors or other workers for Maritime Electric out fairly regularly trimming trees over the power lines. This likely kept things from being far worse. You see, when we surveyed the damage after our returned power, we saw that the local bridge was washed out and the guard rail was snaked out along the road. The bridge is down. One has to take the back way into Summerside. We had lost several trees on our property. Some were damaged. Neighbours had lost shingles. Our greenhouse was slightly damaged. Our garden didn’t look as pretty. We were lucky. We power back in half the time it took with Dorian and our house wasn’t damaged. This was also partly due to work my husband had done to make the house a home. Anchors were attached. Skirting was strongly attached. It might have made the place look better, but it also makes it safer from damage. The metal roof held well. We were thankful to see so little damage to our property. I know others were not so lucky.
Then we did a drive between our location and Summerside. It was utter devastation. The corn fields which had looked so pretty now looked like a bomb went off. I hope some harvest happened before the hurricane…but it might have been too early. The farmers must be heart broken to see such a mess of their hard work and time. There were trees down, some on buildings. There were trees on wires. The traffic lights were literally torn off their housings in Summerside. This happened on at least a couple of locations where they were wired over the roads. It was heart breaking to see the total destruction of trees, crops, property and power lines. In the middle of all this, there was one lone crew of power workers (others were likely in other areas that I didn’t see)…this was one moment of hope. They were working in the rain and wet and chill just after the hurricane trying to get the power up. These were true professionals. Thank you power workers.
Fast forward a little later. I saw a tweet from a power worker who had people driving by while he was working yelling obscenities at them. I was flabbergasted. Of course, earlier, there was some political person trying to score points by complaining that the length of time to get the power back up was not OK. I don’t think anyone was saying it was OK. Sorry to see people using a natural disaster to score some kind of points. It’s what I refer to as dirty politics. First, it was putting blame on the workers who were working their hardest to get our power up and encouraged such disrespectful displays as those yelling obscenities at workers and second, I believe it was an attempt to point fingers at the Government. From what I saw, his family had to do without him so that he could try to get things up and running. This is not the time or place for this sort of grandstanding. Sorry, for those who don’t know, as I mentioned before Maritime Electric has had workers out for the past few years trimming trees over power lines. For those who want to play the blame game. What did you think they should be doing? I also didn’t mention that I saw crews changing out older power poles during the years after Dorian. So, really, what do the people complaining about the lack of work being done want to see being done? If there are problems in your area, then let the Electric company for your local area know. They don’t have ESP.
I know that you get to see the best and the worst of people during these times. I was, however, frankly shocked at the amount of blame game I saw going on. This is a natural disaster! I speculate that people are so used to their computers and phones doing everything for them automatically, that they expect the power company to work the same way and maybe life as well. I have to point out that in a natural disaster, they first put up the hospitals and necessary services…it’s the difference between life and death. So, I never begrudged those things being fixed ahead of us. Why our area got power so much faster this time around, I have no idea. I think a goodly part of that is that Maritime Electric and/or their contractors decided to do work over the three years since Dorian. No one thanks them for that or even noticed…well, I noticed. Not sure if anyone else did. It’s easier to play the blame game. To try to score easy points by putting down people who are currently doing the work. There is a time and place for politics, the middle of a natural disaster seems in rather poor taste.
I’m certain in all the world, I might have been the only one that acknowledged having seen, several days before Fiona, the Premier was trying to recruit as many power workers etc as he could get to get things back up and running after the hurricane was through. Personally, I hate politics, but I do respect someone actually trying to do something to better things. I know people who are without power are tired. I was tired when our power went out after Dorian. I’m sorry for your pain. I waited the week or so it took to get the power back. I didn’t feel the need to drive by workers and shout profanity at them. Why is it nowadays it seems that people want to put down the people doing good honest work? Make sure that they don’t feel welcome. Make sure that they take away any joy they have in doing something? Is it a sickness that permeates society? Is it a sickness that has developed from our instant gratification lifestyle? Whatever it is…if you can help, do so, if you can’t at least don’t make things worse for those trying to help.
You can find pictures (I’ll have some posted here) and on my Twitter Account. I also have a video on our YouTube showing the devastation of Fiona. No system is perfect. While we’re trying to come back from a natural disaster, is not the time or place for grandstanding and mistreating those who are working on trying to help. As Kenny Rogers sang, “There’ll be time enough for countin’ /When the dealing’s done.” So, I know you’re tired and “you’re all out of aces” (to follow Kenny Rogers theme), but, “There’ll be time enough for countin’ /When the dealing’s done”. Keep hope things can change for the better. It won’t change for the better by making things worse for others. Whether you agree with me or not, I hope I made you think. Thanks for listening to my podcast and/or reading my blog post and thanks for your interest in A & J PEI Treasures! Keep watching for more e-books and more formats! We’re always working on something. Thank you!
The podcast that matches this blog post can be found on Anchor FM: https://anchor.fm/a–j-pei-treasures/episodes/Hurricane-Fiona-From-the-Rear-view-Mirror-e1okgdf
You can find more pictures on my Twitter Account and also on YouTube! The YouTube video is located: https://youtu.be/-OVuwFRxJYo
Hurricane Fiona From the Rear-view Mirror – E Jean Simpson, BEd, BA, MA Author A & J PEI Treasures
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