City crews in Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I., are gearing up for heavy rainfall this weekend while also taking steps to prepare for peak hurricane season.
Joey MacKinnon, Charlottetown's assistant manager of public works, says crews are cleaning out catch basins and loading trucks with barricades to be used in case of flooding.
"In the past, we've had to close some streets due to heavy rain and flooding, so we have the barricades in place instead of trying to do it in the rain," he said.
MacKinnon said crews are paying particular attention to flood-prone, lower-lying areas of the city.
That includes Brighton Road by the entrance to Victoria Park, the intersection of Queen and Connolly streets, and Edward Street at Kensington Road, near Joe Ghiz Park.
He said they've been removing debris from roadways and are on standby in case things go south.
Municipal crews are clearing debris now so they don't have to do it in the rain, says Joey MacKinnon. (Cody MacKay/CBC )
On Thursday, Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for all of P.E.I. The federal agency expects periods of heavy rain starting around midnight on Friday into Saturday morning.
Rainfall totals could reach or exceed 50 millimetres by Sunday, with significantly higher amounts in some places on the Island, the statement said.
Officials preparing for Franklin
While the province braces for this weekend, all eyes are on post-tropical storm Franklin.
The tropical storm is still east of the Bahamas and its track is uncertain. If it does come into Atlantic waters, it won't be until mid-next week. But local officials are preparing now.
Tim Mamye, Charlottetown's fire chief, says the city is already getting calls about how prepared it is for hurricane season.
He said now is a good time for Islanders to get 72-hour emergency kits organized. That should include at least two litres of water per person, batteries and a flashlight.
Should the power go out, Mamye said Islanders must remember to practice proper generator safety.
"People that sometimes survive the worst of the event succumbed to something that's so preventable with carbon dioxide poisoning," he said.
Regulations state generators must be 10 feet away (about 3 metres) from any structure, Mayme said.
Tim Mamye, Charlottetown's fire chief, said that should the power go out during a storm, Islanders must remember to practice adequate generator safety. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC)
"Keep your generator outside of your home, away from any doors within 10 feet of that, and close your garage doors," he said.
Generators shouldn't be run indoors and must be shut down before being refuelled, he added.
"I know everybody needs lights and some of the creature comforts, but safety is always got to be first and foremost."
'We pay a lot closer attention'
J.P. Desrosiers, deputy chief administrative officer with the City of Summerside, said the city isn't taking any chances following Fiona and Dorian.
Desrosiers said public works is ensuring vehicles are fuelled up and ready to go and that staff are on standby.
J.P. Desrosiers, deputy chief administrative officer with the City of Summerside, said the city isn't taking any chances following Fiona and Dorian. (Tony Davis/CBC)
Police and firefighters are checking backup radios, and city officials are meeting with the provincial emergency management office to make sure they are doing everything they can to prepare, Dersosiers said.
"We pay a lot closer attention to forecasts and potential for larger storm events. More so now than we ever have, following not only Fiona but Dorian a few years prior," he said.
"From a city perspective, the moment we start to hear about the potential for a storm event coming our way, each department lead will start reviewing storm preparedness checklists, depending on the season."