Natural Resources


Date: September 13, 2006

Location: South Coast



Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Source: Telegram, September 14, 2006; CBC web site; VOCM web site

Hurricane Florence, a category 1 hurricane made landfall along the south coast of Newfoundland. It had by that time been downgraded to a tropical storm. It brought high seas, heavy rain, and high winds to the area between Burgeo and St. John's. The worst damage was in Francois, where a house was destroyed by high winds. Vessels were damaged in Harbour Breton and Petite Forte, and coastal erosion problems occurred at Point May. A school was flooded in Marystown.

VOCM web site, September 14: Storm Over - Sep 14, 2006

Post-Tropical Storm Florence is gone, but not forgotten, especially in parts of the south coast. The rain was not as bad as predicted, but Environment Canada Meteorologist Dale Foote says the winds were strong. Foote says the St. John's region escaped the brunt of the storm. Meantime, Foote says Hurricane Gordon is not expected to affect Newfoundland and Labrador. To some, Tropical Storm Florence was but a soggy inconvenience, but to others, it will go down as one of the worst storms to ever hit the region. Damage is still being assessed, especially on the south coast where homes, boats, roads and other infrastructure took a pounding. A trust fund is being set up to help a Francois family who lost their home. The wind and sea stole a house owned by Coady and Elizabeth Durnford. Mayor Kim Courtney says it's fortunate nobody was hurt, adding Elizabeth got out of the house only about 15 minutes before it went crashing into the bay. Courtney says they lost most of their belongings....

Two boats in Petit Forte broke free of their anchors in yesterday's storm and smashed into the rocks. Area resident Aubrey Pearson says the owners, who are from the Marystown area, were in to assess the damage on the two 25-foot cabin cruisers. He says one has something like three holes in it but the extent of damage to the other isn't known.

CBC website, 13 September: South coast of Newfoundland bears brunt of Florence

Tropical storm Florence brought driving rains and howling winds to dozens of Newfoundland communities Wednesday, with communities on the island's south coast taking the biggest hit.

A newly constructed house in the isolated south coast community of Francois was destroyed by gale-force winds.

As her roof shook, co-owner Liz Durnford persuaded her family to leave for safety elsewhere. "We went down to my sister's house, and in a matter of 15 minutes, the house just washed away. We got nothing," Durnford told CBC News.

Fred Hollett, director of Newfoundland and Labrador's Emergency Measures Organization, said early Wednesday evening that there have also been reports of damaged vessels in Harbour Breton, an eroded beach in Point May and damages to a road in Trepassey.

CBC website, 14 September: Outport rallies after storm destroys family home

Residents of a small outport on Newfoundland's south coast say they will help a young family rebuild their home after tropical storm Florence ripped the house in two, heaving half of it into the ocean.

Florence's greatest damage was felt on the island's south coast, where Francois Ñ a village of about 150 people Ñ and other communities endured winds as strong as 150 kilometres per hour. Liz Durnford whisked her husband and two-year-old son out of their newly built home minutes before winds cracked it apart.

"I'm just glad that we all three walked out of it," Durnford told CBC News. "We mightn't have a house, we mightn't have a lot of money, but we do have each other. That's the main thing." With half of the home left on shore, Francois residents spent Wednesday night salvaging what they could from the wreck of trailer-style dwelling.

"It's a bit more than we hoped for," Kim Courtney, who heads the local service district, told CBC News on Thursday.

Durnford said she had such an eerie feeling as the strength of the storm increased that she reached for a Bible.

"I'm not religious or anything like that, but something was telling me to get me and Noah and my husband out of the house," she said.

Courtney said the community will help the Durnfords build a new home.

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