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3 stories of Fiona's destructive force on P.E.I.

The top floor of this cottage was dumped on the road. The whereabouts of the rest of it is unknown. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)
The top floor of this cottage was dumped on the road. The whereabouts of the rest of it is unknown. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)

A steel storage building, a tourism cottage business and an entire community on New London Bay: these are among the many stories of the devastation caused by post-tropical storm Fiona on P.E.I.

Perhaps the most shocking is the story of Hebrides, a cottage development on New London Bay on the North Shore.

"Tragic, devastating, there's probably not enough words like that to really describe the trauma from our residents," said Myrna Gough, a member of the board for the Hebrides Homeowners Association.

"We have a list of 12 cottages that actually have moved right off their property and many of them are out in the bay, some are on the roadway, and I think about three of them we don't even know where the cottages are."

Laura Meader/CBC
Laura Meader/CBC

A causeway leading to one part of the development was blocked by two cottages that came off their footings and settled on the roadway. Residents on the far side were trapped until heavy equipment was available to move the buildings.

Some residents could find only parts of their cottages. The upper floor of one was dropped on a roadway. The location of the lower floor is unknown.

Laura Meader/CBC
Laura Meader/CBC

There are still people living in what is left of the development, but Gough said they currently don't have a usable water supply. She hopes government aid will be available to fix those problems soon.

'Everything broke'

Sam Turkington spends six months of the year on PE.I. at Shipwreck Point, on the North Shore east of St. Peters Bay. His summer home is the original lighthouse.

He believes the sturdiness of the 1913 building saved him.

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

Next to the house was a steel storage shed, about 20 metres long by 12 metres wide. It's used to store fishing boats in the winter. Last weekend Turkington's Boston Whaler and two vehicles were sheltering inside.

"All of the sudden, bang! Everything broke. We're getting hit by all kinds of metal. I was worried about the windows failing and the whole house collapsing," said Turkington.

The old house stood up, but the storage shed had blown apart. Both vehicles were destroyed. A piece flew hundreds of metres away and struck the side of a neighbour's house.

It was a big loss, but Turkington is thankful it wasn't worse.

"I'm OK, cats are OK, the rest of this stuff is stuff," he said.

'We stay strong'

Joel Warren is the third generation to work at Warren Beachfront Cottages in Goose River, a little west of Shipwreck Point.

His family was out barbecuing during Dorian in 2019. Fiona was something else entirely.

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

"We had rocks and waves coming in through the front windows of this building," said Warren.

Fortunately that cottage, which he said is largely destroyed inside, was not occupied. But even where he and his wife were did not feel secure.

"We had most of our roof coming off and water coming in through most of our windows. You could just feel the building shaking," he said.

The damage is difficult to take after two challenging years for tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Warren said his family will go on.

"We're resilient people. We stay resilient, we stay strong, and we stay together."