N.S. residents stock up on fuel, food ahead as Fiona approaches

People in Nova Scotia are preparing as Hurricane Fiona storms northward toward Atlantic Canada.

Grocery stores across the province were busy in the days leading up to the storm’s expected landfall on Saturday morning.

Residents also joined lines to refuel cars and fill propane tanks.

Fiona is expected to bring heavy rains, battering winds, storm surges and widespread power outages across the province.

Some gas stations in the province quickly reported they were out of fuel.

That was the case at a Wilsons in Tantallon, NS, Cassidy Smith, an employee at the station, said the location ran out of regular gas twice: once at 5 pm Thursday and again at around 1 am on Friday.

“The past two days were absolutely crazy here,” Smith said.

“This morning it was all just telling people we were out of fuel. Then our delivery transport driver said that if the wind gets too high, chances are trucks will get pulled off the road. But, hopefully, we might potentially have some by tonight .”

Five shelves in a grocery store bread section are almost completely bare, save for a few bags of buns.
Grocery stores in Nova Scotia have been particularly busy ahead of Hurricane Fiona. (Submitted by Anna MacQuarrie)

Faten Alali said she’s already stocked her home with non-perishable goods for this weekend.

“We bought canned foods,” she said. “I charged everything… of course, we closed the windows.”

Mary Wong, a resident from Toronto, said her flight back to Ontario scheduled for Saturday night has been cancelled. In the meantime, she’s bought food while she waits for the storm out.

Customers line up to fill propane tanks at a Halifax Costco on Thursday Sept. 22, 2022. Hurricane Fiona is expected to make landfall in Nova Scotia on Saturday. (Radio-Canada)

“I’m staying at a hotel here and I’m like, ‘Well, what if something happens?'” Wong said. “People may buy junk food, I bought carrots and hummus, just in preparation,” she added with a laugh.

Cars lined up waiting to get to a gas pump.
People filling up their cars on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, at a gas station in Halifax. (Anjuli Patil/CBC)

Mike Meeds bought an 8,000-watt generator to keep his food cold if the power goes out. He said the store had several generators still up for grabs by midday Friday.

“I lived through [Hurricane] Juan. I did five days without power. Better to be safe than sorry,” he said as the rain intensified.

“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

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William Embleton-Lake was stocking up on easy-to-eat food.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said as he packed his vehicle in the pouring rain. He said the store was well stocked and calm when he visited Friday.

first hurricane

At a grocery store in Sydney, a group of Cape Breton University students from India were preparing for their first hurricane/post-tropical storm.

Akshay Camra said they were stocking up on food and “preparing our best.”

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The students have been in Canada for just six months and were prepared for winter blizzards, but didn’t expect a fall storm.

“Excited because this is my first time, and a bit terrifying,” said Jasmeet Singh.

This group of Cape Breton University students arrived in May from India. They are preparing for their first major Nova Scotia storm. (Michèle Brideau/Radio-Canada)

Fiona is bringing with it sustained winds of 60 km/h that are expected across much of Nova Scotia, PEI, and into southeastern New Brunswick, with winds gusting over 100 km/h.

On Thursday, Bob Robichaud, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, said in a briefing Thursday that Hurricane Fiona, which is expected to hit Nova Scotia is a post-tropical storm, will be an “extremely strong and dangerous storm.”

Feed Nova Scotia prepares for increased need

Karen Theriault of Feed Nova Scotia said a crisis like a storm puts further pressure and mental anguish on people facing food insecurity. The charity has been trying to prepare for the storm for the last few days.

At least 17,000 people in the province make use of a food bank every month, Theriault told Information Morning Halifax host Portia Clark.

She said that number does not include people in shelters, going to drop-in centers and other meal programs.

Half of the food the organization distributes is fresh and frozen, she said, adding that two trucks went to Cape Breton on Thursday to deliver food to agencies there.

After Dorian, the organization realized that the food stored in their warehouses was vulnerable to power outages, Theriault said.

To protect its food supplies, it installed a natural gas generator at its Burnside warehouse.

She said Feed Nova Scotia trucks will be out on the road early Monday delivering food across the province once it is safe to do so.

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