Hurricane Dorian badly damages revered King's Square in Saint John
Published Sunday, September 8, 2019 6:45PM ADT
Last Updated Sunday, September 8, 2019 7:32PM ADT
On Saturday, Hurricane Dorian caused extensive damage in many Maritime areas, however, in Southern New Brunswick, the storm has taken away from the beauty of one of the province’s most revered public sites.
On Sunday morning, many Saint Johners discovered the destruction Dorian caused at King's Square.
Caution tape was strung around the historic square after several large trees gave way to the powerful winds which swept through the city – a heartbreaking sight for residents with a great appreciation for the trees.
"It's sad, just in the moment that I've been here it's a good amount,” says resident, Jeremy Robinson. “There's quite a few trees in King's Square, and that's what makes King's Square, King's Square – it’s the trees."
"These trees have been around here for hundreds of years, and they'll never come back," says resident, Timothy Morgan.
Despite the city’s damage; which included more downed trees, flooding and damaged sidewalks, Saint John mayor, Don Darling, says he’s happy no injuries or deaths were reported.
“Grateful that, again, nobody was hurt,” says Darling. “We've had some property damage; we have about 55 sites that need to be cleaned up."
And to ensure residents continue to stay safe, the city is advising the public to avoid all public squares and parks where trees have been uprooted until further notice – including King's Square.
"We're very concerned around the activity in King's Square,” says Saint John Emergency Management Organization director, Kevin Clifford. “Media information that we've posted on social media is not to have people try and take away parts of those trees."
Darling agrees with EMO’s concerns surrounding residents’ safety.
“Seeing today even, kids crawling on trees in King's Square, underneath trees – these sites are still very dangerous – so folks have to be very careful."
Meanwhile, those who loved King’s Square’s iconic trees have something to look forward to as the city says it’s considering options to preserve the wood of fallen and damaged trees.
As emergency officials transition from response to recovery efforts, they maintain their focus is on keeping residents – hoping residents adhere to safety warnings.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall