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In the early morning hours of September 29, the storm hit. Hurricane Juan made landfall in Nova Scotia as a category 2 hurricane with sustained wind speeds of 158 km/h and gusts up to 185 km/h. About three hours later, the storm hit PEI. By then it had weakened to a category 1 hurricane, and was reduced even further to a tropical storm as it crossed the Island. But still, the 95 km/h winds that hit Charlottetown and the gusts up to 139 km/h were able to uproot trees, down power lines, tear off roofs, sink boats and leave a path of destruction in its wake. I don’t think any of us will forget the images anytime soon.

Shera and I actually got off pretty easy. We had a BBQ knocked over, and we had to chase our waste bin across the yard. Plus we had to go without power for most of the day. But that’s about it. Some of you were hit a lot harder. Looking across this room, though, I’m not aware of anyone who was completely devastated by this hurricane. But some people were. People from across Nova Scotia and PEI lost their sources of income, lost their homes, lost their cars, and a couple people even lost their lives.

For many, this physical storm created a personal storm in their lives. Linda Needler is one of thousands of people who had to go without power for over a week. This is how she summed up her ordeal:

"It just wears you down. It has reached a point where it’s not fun any more. We want to get on with our lives, which we are definitely ready for, but we can’t."

~ Linda Needler, Dartmouth, entering second week without power

Yes, she is talking specifically about the effects of Hurricane Juan. But how often do each of us experience personal storms of one kind or another that leave us worn down, depressed, trapped, and frustrated? We want to get on with our lives, but we can’t. The truth is, storms happen. We all experience them. There is no one who does not go through some kind of upheaval in their lives from time to time.

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