Parks Canada says the scale of sand dune erosion at beaches in Prince Edward Island National Park due to post-tropical storm Fiona is “shocking.”
Jennifer Stewart with Parks Canada in P.E.I. says that in places like Dalvay Beach the loss of sand dunes since the storm has completely changed the landscape.
Stewart says the Dalvay dune system is now completely gone and the road by the beach is also eroding.
The post-tropical storm left a trail of destruction across a wide swath of Atlantic Canada, stretching from Nova Scotia’s eastern mainland to Cape Breton, P.E.I. and southwestern Newfoundland.
Stewart, who’s been working with the P.E.I. national park since 2000, says Fiona caused the most severe coastal erosion she’s seen in her career.
She says the loss of dunes is troubling because they protect beaches from the impact of storms.
On Tuesday, the Canadian Space Agency posted two satellite photos of Prince Edward Island, one taken on Aug. 21, the other on Sept. 25, a day after Fiona lashed the island with hurricane-force winds that exceeded 140 kilometres per hour.
The second photo clearly shows the clear blue waters around the Island streaked by huge underwater plumes of sand and soil extending far offshore.
The agency posted a tweet saying the photos illustrate “the extent to which the extreme wind and wave action of the storm has churned up the sea floor and eroded the coastline.”
Justin Trudeau is scheduled to travel Tuesday to P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, where he will meet with residents and inspect the extensive damage caused by post-tropical storm Fiona.
The prime minister is planning stops in Stanley Bridge, P.E.I., and two communities in Cape Breton: Glace Bay and Sydney.
While in Sydney, the largest city in Cape Breton, Trudeau will visit the Canadian Coast Guard College, which is being used to house people forced to flee their homes after the storm roared over the island on Saturday.
Fiona left a trail of destruction across a wide swath of Atlantic Canada, stretching from Nova Scotia’s eastern mainland to Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island and southwestern Newfoundland.
Meanwhile, the storm is being blamed for causing two deaths.
A 73-year-old woman in Port aux Basques died Saturday when a storm surge flooded her home, tore apart her basement and swept her out to sea.
On Monday, Nova Scotia RCMP said they believe an 81-year-old man was also swept out to sea on Saturday near Lower Prospect, N.S. Larry Smith was reported missing Saturday, and police say an exhaustive search turned up nothing.
In Ottawa, Defence Minister Anita Anand confirmed there are now about 300 military members assisting with recovery efforts in Atlantic Canada, with Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Newfoundland each getting 100 troops. Anand said the military is mobilizing another 150 troops in Nova Scotia following a request for more help.
Meanwhile, more that 200,000 Atlantic Canadian homes and businesses were still without electricity Tuesday afternoon, more than 134,000 of them in Nova Scotia and 71,000 in P.E.I.
In Halifax, the region’s largest city, more than 24,000 customers were spending their fourth day without power amid a mix of gloomy clouds and light rain. During the day, the snarl of chainsaws provides most of the background noise in the city, and at night the soundscape changes to the low drone of generators.
Schools and government offices remained closed in much of Nova Scotia and all of P.E.I.