One year later, lessons learned from Dorian being applied
HALIFAX -- This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of post tropical storm Dorian.
The impact of the damage that blew into Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in September 2019 still lingers in some areas.
When post-tropical storm brought down a massive crane, Debbie Morgan says she couldn't get inside her business for weeks.
"We didn't know if there was destruction inside our business," Morgan said.
Morgan says Dorian was the first chapter in what has been a tough calendar year.
"It's been extremely difficult," Morgan said. "We've worked our tails off. Our customers have supported us. And that's what's gotten us through."
If and when another tropical storm or hurricane pounds this area, emergency crews are braced to spring into action.
Erica Fleck, the EMO manager for the Halifax Regional Municipality, says they've learned organized communication is the key when it comes to managing fear and concern while minimizing chaos.
"Communication plans are already drafted, ready to go out, internal to employees, external to citizens -- in a variety of means and methods," Fleck said.
She also says addressing non-urban HRM is an area where they've improved their emergency management strategies.
"We've pre-positioned water supplies in rural areas," Fleck said."Because as soon as we lose power, people on wells, their water doesn't run because there is no electricity to run pumps."
As for the visible impact of Dorian, Crispin Wood saysthe damage to urban forestry was staggering.
"During Dorian, we lost about 600 mature trees on peninsula and south end of peninsula," said Wood, HRM's Superintendent of Urban Forestry.
Wood says experience and knowledge gained from previous major storms like Hurricane Juan was implemented following Dorian.
Streets were quickly unblocked and broken trees and stumps were removed.
"We'll be looking at replanting those sites where we lost trees," Wood said.
He also says 10,000 trees have been planted in the HRM in recent years.
COVID-19 has impacted budgets, which means the planting program for 2020 is on hold.
It will likely resume in the future before and after future hurricanes and tropical storms once again impact Nova Scotia.