Arthur leaving its mark on Truro

Ryan Cooke
Published on July 5, 2014

TRURO – Despite outward appearances of a warm and sunny day, post-tropical storm Arthur is wreaking havoc on Truro trees.

As thousands of residents were without power on Saturday morning, winds whipped through the town knocking down trees and power lines.

Some people, like Bible Hill's Ryan Hughes, were out around town during the early stages of the storm, helping to clear trees off the streets.

"I didn't have anything going on today," Hughes said. "So I figured I might as well go help out any way I can."

Hughes tugged away at a large fallen tree on Hillcrest Avenue in Bible Hill just past noon, after clearing away a similar scene on Windale Drive. Wound around the tree on Hillcrest was the homeowner’s cable lines, which were ripped from the house as the tree fell.

A little ways up the road, John Lynch cleared away a similar scene as an old cherry tree fell in his driveway.

"We didn't really expect it at all," Lynch said. "Everyone always stresses about storms, and then nothing ever happens. Not this time."

Power was restored to most of the region by 1 p.m., as evidenced by traffic lights getting things moving swiftly again.

Nova Scotia Power was busy all day restoring power to area all around the province. In the Truro area alone, more than 9,000 customers were without power. Province-wide, the number totaled 142,000 by 6:30 p.m. Nova Scotia Power had 60 crews working throughout the day, along with 25 more crews contracted out.

Nearly all first responders and government departments responded to calls of downed trees and power lines.

Just after 10 a.m., the Onslow-Belmont Fire Brigade had to cut through a large tree branch to free a man.

“A man in his late-50s to early 60s had a tree branch fall on him,” said RCMP Cpl. Scott MacRae. “Onslow-Belmont firefighters responded to cut the tree.”

MacRae said paramedics transported the man to hospital, however he wasn’t sure on the extent of the man’s injuries.

Around 6 p.m., with winds still surging upwards of 90 kilometres per hour, a makeshift crew took care of a downed traffic light on the corner of Robie Street and Marshland Drive. Truro Police Service, the Town of Truro and Sorenson's Electrical combined efforts to repair the damage.

"It's been a heck of a day," said Paul Bigelow, a town worker. "I've been at it since about 10 a.m., on probably a half-dozen calls like this. It doesn't look that bad out, but the wind is just brutal."

While some situations were cleaned up by work crews or people like Hughes, others decided to take care of matters themselves. With a massive tree sprawled across his lawn, Valley resident John MacNeill took a chainsaw to the large spruce.

MacNeill's wife came home earlier in the day to the tree timbered across their lawn, not far from the corner of the house.

"You come to expect it," he said. "We live in Nova Scotia. There's trees everywhere and wind all the time. It happens."

It wasn't destruction and despair for all, however. Across the road from the battered TAAC Grounds, a man tossed a set of golf clubs into the back of his car. He was just wrapping up his second round of the day at Truro Golf Club.

He laughed as he explained he didn't want his name used, for fear of "people thinking I'm some sort of crazy person."

"I try to get out and play every hurricane or tropical storm," he said. "It's good practice for your game."

Twitter: @tdnryan