Flying in to the storm: Chasing Arthur


Most people avoid a hurricane or tropical storm as part of their vacation plans. Not so much this week for us. We certainly would not have predicted that a storm would affect the Canadian Maritime provinces this past weekend when some months ago. Even when we knew it was coming we worked to get out ahead of the storm in NYC to make it to Canada, fully expecting to be marooned for a day. And on that front we definitely were not disappointed. All day Saturday was spent inside, watching the clouds roll by in what was a rather impressive display of wind and rain.

We managed to sneak out for a short hike during a lull in the rains, though the winds remained strong. This is when we started to see all the trees down. There were a lot of them, some older/bigger than others, and many landed on power lines. Tens of thousands of homes lost power (including ours) and many were expected to be out for a full week as the tree removal proved to be slow. We were fortunate that power was restored in only ~24 hours and the place we stayed had a gas grill for cooking.

Trees down in New Brunswick thanks to Tropical Storm Arthur

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We were relatively fortunate in our power outage situation; really a minimal impact on the trip overall. And we were scheduled to be out kayaking the whole week anyways so we didn’t need much in the way of indoor amenities. Some boat owners were not quite so lucky. A few days later there were still beached sailboats a ways down the shore in the resort town of Saint Andrews near the Maine border. Local reported that eleven were separated from their docks; at least one was a total loss.

Not likely to be sailing again any time soon, I'd betAnother sailbot beached by Tropical Storm Arthur in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick

The harbour was also impacted, with the sea wall significantly damaged.

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There were also lots more trees down in that area, some of them massive.

I'm amazed the house is not more damaged; that was a huge tree which landed on it.
I’m amazed the house is not more damaged; that was a huge tree which landed on it.

I definitely consider us amongst the lucky ones in this storm. Minimal impact overall and nothing we couldn’t easily handle. For those still without power or who are dealing with destroyed crops the news isn’t nearly as positive. One guy on the radio suggested that this was the longest the power had been out since it was turned on in the province, and he was around when that happened as well. There was also the one guy on the radio we heard talking about how happy he was that the winds blew all the potato bugs off his fields. I suppose he’s pretty upbeat on the storm’s impact.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

4 Comments

  1. I’m still baffled as to how in the 21st century they still don’t bury powerlines. I know this isn’t as normal as in South Florida, but it’s disturbing to see how unprepared they are up north for these things and always losing power both in the winter and in cases like these, which costs the economy billions each year.

    1. Well it costs around $1,000,000 per mile to bury power lines so start adding that number up and its not hard to see why they are still above ground.

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