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From oyster fishers to church volunteers: Maritimers get ready for Fiona


People in the Maritimes made last-minute preparations ahead of Hurricane Fiona Friday.

Nova Scotia resident Kim Barss stocked up on supplies to help take care of his elderly mother.

"My mom is 91-years-old and lives alone," he said. "[I] came out and got some extra food."

Reverend Kyle Wagner with Christ Church in Halifax says taking care of people in his neighbourhood is the primary focus at his church.

"Yesterday we were fielding calls on, 'Is the hall going to be open? I need a place to stay.' So, we have been helping people, to come by and help them get shelter," he said.

Church staff and volunteers are scrambling in the final hours to make sure they are fully prepared.

"It is people who are on the street right now that we are worried about," said Wagner.

He says the church is doing everything possible to make sure they can reach everyone who needs assistance.

In parts of northern Nova Scotia, the fear is flooding. In Antigonish, some homeowners are still recovering from the last severe storm that damaged properties.

Voluntary evacuation orders were handed out at the Indian Gardens Trailer Court -- the same place that was hit hard by flooding last November.

Some residents, however, are planning to ride this storm out.

"I think, I'm going to choose to stay,” said Indian Gardens resident Dorothy Fraser. “I just want to be with everything in case something does happen. Plus, my family's here and they don't want to leave either. So I think we're going to hunker down and try to stay.”

Shannon Long, marketing and communications officer with the town of Antigonish, says the town is asking residents to be prepared.

"[And] once the storm starts, to stay at home. We're asking town residents, and in the fringe area, to park their cars off the street to allow for emergency vehicles to get by if they need to," said Long.

In Cape Breton, residents made sure they have everything they'll need ahead of the storm.

Michael Butts, who lives along the coast in Glace Bay, N.S., says he's used to wind and rain where he lives, but this weather system has him taking every necessary precaution.

"I boarded up my house, that's about all I can do," said Butts. "It's as good as it gets right there."

Long lineups were seen at gas stations across Nova Scotia Friday, with some stations reporting they had already run out.

"Stations up the road, the Ultramar, the Petro-Can, they had pylons up, so I don't think they had any gas available other than diesel," said Cape Breton resident Dan Bresson.

Gas stations in the Halifax area were experiencing similar shortages.

Some store shelves were left bare, with items like portable chargers and generators hard to come by.

There is heightened concern for residents living along the coast, with the potential for dangerous storm surges.

Residents in those areas are being asked to have an evacuation plan in place.

"It's very serious. Nobody should be near the water overnight tonight and into tomorrow," said Christina Lamey, the communications officer for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM).

She says the military is also on standby, if needed, to help with cleanup once Fiona passes.

Ahead of the storm, Feed Nova Scotia had delivered two truckloads of food to Cape Breton Island. Should there be a significant impact in the province, Food Banks Canada is on standby to provide what is needed for Feed Nova Scotia to remain operational.

"We are mindful of Nova Scotia, that there are 140 frontline agencies, meal programs, shelters, food banks, drop-in shelters, that are 100 per cent dependent on us staying functional," said Nick Jennery, the executive director at Feed Nova Scotia.

On Prince Edward Island, wind and high waves were already starting to pick up late Friday afternoon.

The province is expecting to see historic storm surges along its coast, particularly on the north shore -- a hot spot for the island's oyster industry.

Growers were scrambling Friday to protect their stocks. Oysters in that area are grown in floating cages, which were being sunk Friday to protect them from the storm.

"All it takes is one line to break, and then the pressure up against the second line, the third line, and it's like a domino effect," said Robbie Moore, owner of Brackley Bay Oyster Company.

"Hurricane Dorian taught a lot of oyster farms about how powerful Mother Nature is, and this one is looking a lot worse."

There are around 30 million oysters in the water along the island's north shore. Top Stories

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