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Coastal New Brunswick communities brace for Hurricane Fiona’s strong storm surge

Residents on the coast of New Brunswick say they are ready for Hurricane Fiona. Nathalie Sturgeon / Global News

In Pointe-du-Chene, N.B., the final steps are being taken to ready the wharf ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Fiona.

Chuck Steeves has lived in this area for almost 20 years and has seen his fair share of massive storms, including the most recent, Hurricane Dorian, in 2019.

He said the biggest concern is that the storm surge will likely be happening in the overnight hours, making it difficult to see and navigate any flooding.

Read more: Thousands lose power as Fiona nears Atlantic Canada, officials warn of ‘historic storm’

“Because we’re in a coastal inland area, the tidal surge could come in overnight when the high tide makes its mark,” he said. “This time of year, if the hurricane comes in like it’s supposed to at the same time as the high tide … water can come into the lowest lying areas.”

The streets around Steeves home and his neighbours are likely to flood. The tricky part, he explained, is when the tide recedes, it won’t mean the water will leave with it.

At its highest, Steeves said the water levels in front of his coastal home have reached about 2.5 metres.

Read more: Shediac, N.B. boat owners prepare for hurricane Fiona

In a tweet on Friday, New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization said the maximum wave height could reach as high as six to eight metres, including in southeastern New Brunswick.

Crews worked to pull signs that could be carried away in the wind and others gathered to take a look at the calm before the storm.

Sharon Wood visited the Pointe-du-Chene wharf early on Friday, talking in the increasingly rocky waves from inside her car. She said she hoped people could get their boats out in time.

Wood is prepared for Fiona’s arrival, though.

“My son brought everything in. Nothing to blow away. We got extra food and that’s why we’re out today to enjoy it before it starts,” she said.

Oneil Brien has lived in area for 24 years and has seen a few storms. He was worried about the wharf when he visited it on Friday but feels safe in his home in Shediac.

“I’m worried about the surge at Pointe-du-Chene,” he said. “Where we are, there is no way it’s going to go up that hill.”

Click to play video: 'Atlantic Canada braces as Hurricane Fiona looms' Atlantic Canada braces as Hurricane Fiona looms
Atlantic Canada braces as Hurricane Fiona looms – Sep 23, 2022

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