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Revisiting hurricane alley: Berwick campground restored from 2010 storm

Berwick Camp Association executive member Wayne Fiander stands in “hurricane alley,” an area of the United Church Campgrounds that was ravaged by a windstorm in December 2010.
Berwick Camp Association executive member Wayne Fiander stands in “hurricane alley,” an area of the United Church Campgrounds that was ravaged by a windstorm in December 2010.

BERWICK - Standing in what is now aptly called hurricane alley, Wayne Fiander thinks back to when the United Church Campgrounds property was unrecognizable to even those who knew it best.

“When I got inside the camp in a lot of places I really didn’t know where I was. Trees were left, right and up and down and you just had no idea,” says Fiander, referring to the aftermath of a severe windstorm that ravaged the Berwick-based campground Dec. 13, 2010.

“It was trees everywhere,” recalls Fiander, an executive member of the Berwick Camp Association.

“We’ve got a lot of open areas now that we didn’t have before.”

Massive hemlock trees towering high above the tallest building on the property toppled down on rooftops, crashed through cottage walls and even uprooted some cabins after falling victim to hurricane force winds. The devastation was described as nothing short of unfathomable.

“Some of these old growth trees were 175 years old and they’ve been around a long time and they weigh tons,” says Fiander.

About 20 cottages were deemed irreparable, 50 more were damaged and water and electrical lines had to be replaced.

“We were faced with whether or not we could even open again but we had tremendous support here from the business community in the Valley,” says Fiander, stressing that contractors and community volunteers alike made themselves readily available when the restoration work was underway.

“In a place like the Annapolis Valley there’s a very, very strong sense of community.”

Since the storm, 400 new trees have been planted in an effort to ensure the property will once again be known for its lush forest.

“The trees make this place a very special place in the summer. It’s cooler here than it is in downtown Berwick and the canopy gives you that atmosphere where you feel kind of a bit of a barrier from the world around you,” says Fiander.

“TD Foundation is our biggest benefactor in terms of reforestation. They’ve contributed $10,000 over the last four, five years to help us replant almost one third of what we lost.”

Looking back to 2010, Fiander is able to see the bright side when he reflects on the damage done.

“Although we were devastated when the storm happened, it’s really been a positive thing… it’s caused a resurgence in the infrastructure and people have come together,” he says, noting that the property’s insurance policy made it possible to rebuild.

Materials from the downed trees were used to help repair damaged cabins or build news ones.

“The trees yielded over 130,000 board feet of usable lumber,” says Fiander, who was reminded of how much the property means to the community in the wake of the storm.

“It’s always been a great place to retreat away from the world.”

 

“When I got inside the camp in a lot of places I really didn’t know where I was. Trees were left, right and up and down and you just had no idea,” says Fiander, referring to the aftermath of a severe windstorm that ravaged the Berwick-based campground Dec. 13, 2010.

“It was trees everywhere,” recalls Fiander, an executive member of the Berwick Camp Association.

“We’ve got a lot of open areas now that we didn’t have before.”

Massive hemlock trees towering high above the tallest building on the property toppled down on rooftops, crashed through cottage walls and even uprooted some cabins after falling victim to hurricane force winds. The devastation was described as nothing short of unfathomable.

“Some of these old growth trees were 175 years old and they’ve been around a long time and they weigh tons,” says Fiander.

About 20 cottages were deemed irreparable, 50 more were damaged and water and electrical lines had to be replaced.

“We were faced with whether or not we could even open again but we had tremendous support here from the business community in the Valley,” says Fiander, stressing that contractors and community volunteers alike made themselves readily available when the restoration work was underway.

“In a place like the Annapolis Valley there’s a very, very strong sense of community.”

Since the storm, 400 new trees have been planted in an effort to ensure the property will once again be known for its lush forest.

“The trees make this place a very special place in the summer. It’s cooler here than it is in downtown Berwick and the canopy gives you that atmosphere where you feel kind of a bit of a barrier from the world around you,” says Fiander.

“TD Foundation is our biggest benefactor in terms of reforestation. They’ve contributed $10,000 over the last four, five years to help us replant almost one third of what we lost.”

Looking back to 2010, Fiander is able to see the bright side when he reflects on the damage done.

“Although we were devastated when the storm happened, it’s really been a positive thing… it’s caused a resurgence in the infrastructure and people have come together,” he says, noting that the property’s insurance policy made it possible to rebuild.

Materials from the downed trees were used to help repair damaged cabins or build news ones.

“The trees yielded over 130,000 board feet of usable lumber,” says Fiander, who was reminded of how much the property means to the community in the wake of the storm.

“It’s always been a great place to retreat away from the world.”

 

This snapshot from December 2010 was captured days after the windstorm that uprooted trees and destroyed cottages at the United Church Campgrounds in Berwick.
The United Church Campgrounds in Berwick has replanted hundreds of hemlocks since the December 2010 windstorm that claimed hundreds of hemlocks. The wooded property is near the entrance to town that connects Commercial Street to Highway 1.

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