To Halifax, Love Juan

I think that you would be hard pressed to find a weblog in Halifax that didn’t mention something to do with Hurricane Juan. For that matter most of the province of Nova Scotia was affected by this monstrosity and maybe other places too. As of the time of me writing this, I don’t have any power. That means that I have no real way to find out what the hell is going on. However, I have been outside and I do know that the damage just on Dalhousie campus is extensive. And as I type this, I have my camera out on reconnaissance in the hands of Chris to find the scoop on the rest of the city. Why all the hoopla? Quite frankly because shit like this just doesn’t happen here. I have effectively lived in Nova Scotia my entire life and not once have I been witness to: a noticeable earthquake, a tornado, volcanic activity, real hurricanes, or anything else that might be considered an “act of god”. In all fairness we do get some nasty blizzard action that other locales likely miss out on. So needless to say, people here are a bit unprepared for an event of this magnitude. I didn’t even know that this hurricane Juan was even thinking about stopping in Halifax until my brother sent me an advisory article in the Globe & Mail. And even then, I figured, OK we’ll lose our power and then in the morning all will be well. It isn’t well, it isn’t well at all.

From what I have heard so far, this is a small list of some of the damage caused by this storm: o Many large trees uprooted and then implanted in various other places - cars, homes, etc. o The roof of the ferry terminal in Halifax - gone. o One of the tall ships sank, others are beached or stranded in various inconvenient locations. o Shirreff Hall had windows blown out - two girls had to go to the hospital because of glass in their faces. o Entire city sans power - potentially for a few days. (I can attest to the fact that there is definitely no power here now) o Related to that, there are more downed powerlines than you can possibly imagine. o Universities are closed as are all public schools and pretty much everywhere else in the city. o Metal doors ripped off of the Dalhousie Arts Centre. o At one point there was a river that was running down Edward Street. o Various flooded areas, including some rooms in Shirreff Hall.

And this is just what I have heard from walking around campus and talking to a couple people who have ventured out a bit further. Obviously when the power comes back on - whenever that is - and news can be spread, word of more damage will likely filter out. I do know that Pictou County is without power, at least at my parent’s place.

I guess you could say that at least I get a day off - which would be fine if I was in class, but I am working and I doubt that I will get paid for this. I can’t even work from home on my laptop, because the network is down. The routers need power and I need the network in order to access the files that I work on because I am a web developer.

More sirens. I have been hearing sirens all night, feeling both altruistically concerned and selfishly thankful that I am safe. Which is the main thing, that people are OK. Despite the damage and our lack of preparation, I think that we managed alright considering that there were only two storm related fatalities (the I know about). However at this point I think that I should stop for a bit and rest the weary battery on my dented laptop. If this power stays out for very long it might just be my salvation in the end. Cheers.

Written by Colin Bate