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Parks, campgrounds in Nova Scotia gradually reopen after Fiona disaster

Click to play video: 'Crews in Nova Scotia working to restore electricity after Fiona'
Crews in Nova Scotia working to restore electricity after Fiona
Thousands of residents and businesses in Nova Scotia have been left powerless after post-tropical storm Fiona. As Shallima Maharaj reports from Glace Bay, crews are working around the clock to restore electricity. – Sep 26, 2022

Provincial parks in Nova Scotia are gradually reopening this week after closing last Friday due to the arrival of hurricane Fiona. Some parks, however, will remain closed for the rest of the 2022 season.

Parks were closed as the post-tropical storm hammered into the east coast of Canada over the weekend, and as Nova Scotians surveyed the damage in days that followed.

In a Tuesday release, the province said campgrounds and day-use parks will be gradually reopening “as assessments deem them safe.”

Natural Resources and Renewables Minister Tory Rushton said in the release it is important for Nova Scotians to be in nature. “Our staff are working hard to reopen the provincial parks,” Rushton said.

“While we work to get the rest up and running safely, we thank everyone for their co-operation and patience.”

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Read more: Sable Island horses ‘doing well’ after storm Fiona, Parks Canada says

On Wednesday, the following campgrounds will open at 2 p.m.:

  • Battery in Richmond County
  • Blomidon in Kings County
  • Ellenwood Lake in Yarmouth County
  • Graves Island in Lunenburg County
  • Rissers Beach in Lunenburg County
  • The Islands in Shelburne County
  • Thomas Raddall in Queens County
  • Valleyview in Annapolis County
  • Whycocomagh in Inverness County

Cape Chignecto, Dollar Lake, Caribou, Five Islands and Porters Lake are still undergoing assessment and power restoration, and an update will come later this week.

The province said “all the animals are safe” at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, though it remains closed until power is restored and cleanup from debris is complete.

Some parks sustained significant damage in the severe storm and will remain closed for the rest of the season. These include the Amherst Shore and Mira River provincial campgrounds.

According to the province, all reservations for camping during the closures will be cancelled and refunded.

Read more: N.S. premier says $40M financial relief package for Fiona ‘unprecedented’

Parks Canada has also provided an update on federal park closures in Nova Scotia.

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In a Tuesday morning release, the agency said Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site has partially reopened after Fiona.

The park, including the Kejimkujik Seaside, opened to the public on Tuesday for day use only and with limited visitor resources. The Visitor Reception Centre remains closed.

“Assessments at both sites indicate minimal storm damage but there is still no electricity,” read the Parks Canada release.

“Power is critical to re-opening camping as it is required for potable water and sewer utilities to function,” it said, adding that power is expected to be back late Wednesday. Reservations through Wednesday will be cancelled and refunded.

In the meantime, front-country trails and outhouses at the park are open for day use.

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