A family of seven in Halifax is among those still searching for a place to call home after their apartment building was destroyed by post-tropical storm Fiona.
Fiona barreled through the region Friday night into Saturday with hurricane-strength winds.
When Jonathan Misener first awoke to the sounds of the storm early Saturday morning, he had no idea what was in store for him and his family.
“I could see a bunch of wood and debris outside, broken power pole down over the vehicles, but I couldn’t quite make out what was what. It was pitch black,” he said.
Daylight revealed just how much damage had been done.
The powerful storm had ripped the roof completely off their apartment building in Spryfield.
“Chunks of our roof in everybody’s areas like in their yards, on their cars. It went down through someone else’s roof,” said Misener.
The blended family of seven was evacuated with only a backpack of belongings each.
Their building has now been condemned — keeping the family and their insurance company out. Four days later, they’re still at the emergency shelter at the Canada Games Centre in the Halifax suburb of Clayton Park.
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“We are not allowed back into our apartment because there’s more ceiling caving in,” said Misener.
“It’s unfit to even get in to collect any stuff.”
While the family is thankful for their safety, mom Bryana Marcina says the days have been difficult.
“We don’t even have an answer for our children. They ask us, ‘Hey, where are we going?'” she said.
“They ask us something basic: ‘What’s for lunch?’ I don’t know.”
The Canadian Red Cross is operating the shelter, and says the space will be open until all 27 people using it have found alternative lodging.
“We try and communicate with them as much as possible, just to know that when they wake up in the morning, they have somewhere to stay that night. But we do take it day by day because plans can change quickly,” said Kelsie Meaden, the emergency management co-ordinator
Misener says the current housing crisis has added to their struggle. The family has started a GoFundMe fundraising account in the hopes of getting back on their feet.
“Financially, if we have enough to pay for rent, then I mean it’s still hard to find a place but we are trying. We are looking. If there’s someone out there that knows or could help, that would be great,” Misener said.
Marcina says she’s exhausted all their options by calling property managers and landlords.
“We’re trying to reach out to who we can to tell our story,” she said.
“(We) hope that someone can understand that we have five amazing children and we need somewhere.”