The roof of Mary Queen of Peace Elementary School was ripped off after Hurricane Larry crossed Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula in the early hours of the morning in St. John’s on Saturday, September 11, 2021. THE PRESS CANADIAN / Paul Daly
UPDATE 2:30 p.m.
The City of St. John’s is asking residents to stay home, as the Newfoundland and Labrador proverb goes, so crews can clean up torn branches, downed power lines and strewn debris thrown in. streets by Hurricane Larry.
The storm made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane along the island’s south coast at 11:45 p.m. Atlantic time on Friday, bringing rain patches and sustained winds of up to 130 km / h on the Avalon Peninsula, which includes the provincial capital. of Saint-Jean. Wind gusts have reached speeds of up to 182 km / h, according to measurements taken at the Cape St. Mary’s Lighthouse.
The winds caused massive storm surges that brought waves across the road to places like St. Vincent, a popular spot for whale watching along southern Avalon. In St. John’s, the streets were lined with torn tree branches, debris torn from homes, and in the Rabbittown neighborhood, a tossed chair.
“Hurricane Larry caused a significant amount of damage to trees and property throughout our city,” St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen said at a press conference on Saturday.
Yet, he said, “it could have been a lot worse. “
Larry raced across the Atlantic and ascended into Placentia Bay, a vast body of water separating the Avalon Peninsula from the rest of the island, just as high tide set in. Storm surges combined with high water levels have wreaked havoc in some of the coastal communities along Placentia Bay.
Alex Best woke up on Saturday morning to find his dock in Southern Harbor was pretty much washed away – and he almost took his boat with him.
The 86-year-old retired fisherman said he hadn’t seen high water like those caused by Larry in many decades.
“Our environment is so bad, I mean that’s what causes us to have so many storms so often now,” he said in a phone interview on Saturday. “And we’re not doing anything to fix it either – we’re just letting it get worse all the time. “
Sitting on his deck on Saturday and inspecting the damage, Best said he was taking matters into his own hands.
“One day at a time,” he said. “As long as you can get up and go, that’s the main thing. “
Along the west coast of Placentia Bay in Marystown, firefighters had to evacuate two homes because water was rising to their front doors, Fire Chief Justin Bolt said. “The people of this region had not experienced water at this height during previous storms,” he said. “There was a personal dock in that area that they just managed to secure to keep it from floating. “
Larry felt comparable to Hurricane Igor, said Bolt, which caused extensive damage across the island in 2010 and even took a man offshore.
Back in St. John’s, nearly 10,000 people in the area were still without power on Saturday night, the Newfoundland Power website reported. Earlier today, more than 30,000 residents of the metropolitan area were in the dark. Winds tore off part of the roof of Mary Queen of Peace Elementary School and it lay on a pile of siding and nail-riddled planks some distance away. A huge blue tent set up along Quidi Vidi Lake to house a music festival was taken down and windows facing the road smashed in an empty building at the nearby intersection of Rawlins Cross.
Residents of eastern Newfoundland woke up on Saturday to streets littered with branches and debris, torn and tossed about by the fierce winds of Hurricane Larry.
Larry made landfall as a Category 1 storm shortly after midnight Friday along the island’s southern coast, bringing rain patches and sustained winds of 130 km / h to the Avalon Peninsula, which includes the provincial capital of St. John’s.
The city streets were lined with fallen branches on Saturday morning, and trees were uprooted and knocked down on many lawns.
A small crowd gathered around Mary Queen of Peace Elementary School on Saturday, slowly shaking their heads as fragments of the school’s jagged roof swirled in the remaining winds. Much of the roof was blown off the building and rested on a pile of siding and nail-riddled planks on the ground some distance away.
As of 10 a.m., nearly 30,000 people in the St. John’s area were still without power, the Newfoundland Power website said. But the lights and coffeemakers were on at a Tim Horton’s near the Rooms provincial art gallery, and the queue for morning coffee meandered through the restaurant and out the door.
Brandon Snook was outside the cafe with his baby, Myles, as his wife took a few cups inside. They didn’t have the power to make theirs, he said.
Myles slept through the night, said Snook, clearly impressed. “My sister, her little one has lost his gambling house,” he said. “It crashed into the house in about two million pieces. “
His own house did well, he said – just a little bit of siding peeled off.
An empty building nearby at the Rawlins Cross intersection was unlucky; several of its traffic-facing windows were smashed in their frames, leaving the interior of the building completely exposed.
Up the street, parts of the green iron fence surrounding the cathedral basilica had fallen and several of the windows of the massive structures were missing.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary urged pedestrians and drivers across the peninsula to stay at home as officers swept the area to report fallen trees and power lines.
Meanwhile, Newfoundland Power assured those in the dark that crews had been out since dawn to work on the power lines.