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A fallen tree blocks part of Sophia Street in Saint Andrews on Sept. 17, 2023. Image: Brad Perry

Charlotte County cleans up from post-tropical storm Lee

By Brad Perry Sep 17, 2023 | 4:57 PM

Many residents in Charlotte County spent much of their day Sunday cleaning up from post-tropical storm Lee.

However, two municipal leaders in the county said the impacts from the storm could have been much worse.

“It was certainly a significant storm … but we’re in a lot better situation than we thought,” Saint Andrews Mayor Brad Henderson said on Sunday morning.

Henderson was helping to clean up some of the fallen trees and limbs at Kingsbrae Garden, where he works as the managing director.

He said Saint Andrews experienced the strongest winds during the course of several hours on Saturday morning.

“It was really a two- or three-hour period where we experienced a lot of tree falls. They were covering roads, we had a number that fell on power lines, and then there was a couple of situations where trees were on homes in the community,” said Henderson.

As the coastal town braced for high tide early Saturday afternoon, Henderson said they got a reprieve from the winds.

He said that put the community “in a better situation” and kept them from having to deal with erosion and flooding issues.

“There’s really limited things you can to prepare for that,” said Henderson. “We had plans in place where the Market Wharf was blocked off, there was no public access.”

Henderson said the town’s public works crews were kept busy during the storm trying to keep main streets open.

As of Sunday morning, a large tree was still blocking a portion of Sophia Street. There were also trees and large branches lying next to many roadways.

“There’s no doubt about it that the town right now is in cleanup mode and the public works barn where we put all of our branches and trees is going to be full for the next few weeks, to say the least,” said Henderson.

The mayor also commended the work of NB Power crews for restoring power to as many homes and businesses as they could as quickly as possible.

Cleaning up your yard today?The Public Works yard will be open between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM today to allow homeowners…

Posted by Brad Henderson – Mayor, Town of Saint Andrews on Sunday, September 17, 2023

Over in the Municipal District of St. Stephen, residents were also breathing a sigh of relief by Sunday morning.

Mayor Allan MacEachern said they “fared fairly well” during the storm and did not see a considerable amount of damage.

“The storm wasn’t as bad as we were anticipating, but we’ve got to take it on as if it’s going to be bad. We were prepared the best we could be,” said MacEachern.

“We had a few trees down, but they were taken care of as soon as we heard. We had staff on the lookout, checking storm drains and stuff like that, so they were on the lookout for those trees as well.”

The mayor said he was aware of one situation where a power mast was ripped off a house.

Fortunately, there have been no reports of any injuries in New Brunswick as a result of Lee.

MacEachern said the storm was a great test for their new community notification system which recently launched.

Residents can now receive emergency alerts and community notices through the Alertable app. They can also sign up for notifications by email, text, and phone call.

“It was very well commented on, so hopefully that encourages more people to get on it,” said MacEachern. “The more that are on it, the better that the app performs.”

The mayor said he was glad to see residents did their part ahead of the storm and put things away or tied them down so they would not blow around during the storm.