RUSTICO, P.E.I. - As Keith Gallant was looking up at his business’ large overhead metal canopy swaying during Wednesday’s storm, he knew it didn’t look good.
The structure that shelters the fuel tanks and bears the Irving sign at Gallant’s Clover Farm Irving in Rustico toppled over Wednesday.
Owner Keith Gallant said he watched as the structure went down, causing “a very large bang”.
“It was wobbling,” he told The Guardian Thursday. “They’re designed to give a little bit, to sway a little bit on a windy day. I just looked up and said, ‘this is swaying more than it’s supposed to sway’, and before I could even think, it toppled over.”
The owner said when he first noticed the structure swaying at about 6:30 p.m., it didn’t look too bad but said, “within two minutes it started to really wobble and then it just toppled over.”
Because of the inclement weather, the store was closed at the time, so the sign fell into an empty parking lot and didn’t cause any further damage.
Gallant said he suspects there may have been metal fatigue within the structure but said he still can’t be sure at this point.
“I’m not even really sure what caused it, but I think a combination of a bunch of things I guess.”
Despite the damage, it was business as usual on Thursday.
“We cordoned off the area, but we’re still pumping fuel on one side because we got the OK that everything’s OK,” he said. “I’m hoping in the next couple of days they’ll come with a crane and move it, and then they’ll decide what we’re going to do with it – whether we put in a new one or just repair that one.”
Strong winds and snow hit P.E.I. Wednesday, bringing winds up to 90 km/h and dumping up to 30 centimetres in some areas of the Island.