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“Evaluating the Current State of PEI and its Inhabitants 8 Months After Fiona: A Breaking: Perspective”


On September 24, 2022, PEI changed forever.

Post-Tropical Storm Fiona — one of the strongest in Canadian history — swept across Atlantic Canada, destroying homes and other structures, leaving thousands of days without power and destroying entire forests and coastlines. On PEI, the storm changed everything.

CBC’s Nicola MacLeod has looked at how Fiona influenced the island – and its people – in a four-part series, Modified by Fiona.

Check out the videos created for the series and related articles.

1. How Fiona changed the island landscape

Changed by Fiona: Coasts and Forests

PEI’s forests and coastlines will be seen through a Fiona lens for years to come. The CBC’s Nicola MacLeod looks at how the post-tropical storm changed PEI’s land management in the first of the series Changed by Fiona.

With the arrival of spring, researchers and biologists are heading out again to examine the damage from the post-tropical storm and find out what comes next.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, the county focused on safety on the land it controlled, removing poorly placed debris and clearing trees that posed a public danger before winter set in.

Only now are officials beginning to shift focus to planning for the future.

2. How island farmers build better than before

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Altered by Fiona: Farms and Fields

Farmers on PEI who weathered post-tropical storm Fiona have learned a lesson and are now preparing for an uncertain future. The CBC’s Nicola MacLeod goes to orchards, fields and barns in the second installment of the “Changed by Fiona” series.

The storm hit virtually every corner of the island’s agricultural sector — damaging buildings and crops, inundating land and taking away tracts of coastal farmland.

While it may seem challenging to look for silver linings, farmers and industry leaders agree that Fiona has shown people the power of natural disasters and how preparedness can make a difference.

And the industry will never go back to how it used to be.

3. A very different PEI for tourists

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Modified by Fiona: The Tourism Industry

Visitors return to a changed island after post-tropical storm Fiona. CBC’s Nicola MacLeod explored some tourist spots to learn more about the difficult recovery and preparations for the future in the third part of the series “Changed by Fiona.”

PEI tour operators have been working hard to get their shops, restaurants, accommodations and attractions ready for the 2023 season. But visitors will see a changed landscape compared to years past.

The impact of the storm – including nearly bare fields where trees once stood and nearly wiped out dune systems – cannot be hidden from visitors or fixed with a coat of paint.

The PEI Tourism Industry Association says climate and environmental awareness will become an important topic for the future industry.

4. How Fiona Changed Islanders

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Changed by Fiona: Coping with Trauma

Post-Tropical Storm Fiona passed over PEI in the early morning of Sept. 24, 2022, but the ripples are still being felt on the island. Here’s a look back at the moment itself and finding ways for individuals and communities to move forward more resiliently in the final installment of the CBC PEI series ‘Changed by Fiona’.

The deep psychological impact Fiona left behind may be less apparent than the damage to buildings and landscape, but for many who lived through the storm – and the days that followed – the emotional toll is no less real.

Some islanders were without power for weeks while also grappling with unplanned financial charges, insurance claims for property damage, problems accessing assistance and poor cell coverage.

Panic when the power goes out, a shiver at the sound of wind howling, a wave of sadness at the sight of a beloved landmark forever changed. These are just some of the scars left by Fiona.

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