Quebecer who survived Irma calls it terrifying; Canadian frigate on standby

By The Canadian Press

A Quebec man living on the Caribbean island of Saint-Martin says hurricane Irma has been the most terrifying experience of his life.

Irma cut a path of devastation across the northern Caribbean, leaving at least 10 dead and thousands homeless after destroying buildings and uprooting trees on a track Thursday that could lead to a catastrophic strike on Florida.

Rene H. Lepine says the storm left disaster in its wake Wednesday on Saint-Martin, where he runs a real estate development.

He tells The Canadian Press about a third of the homes on Saint-Martin are now uninhabitable and that the island hasn’t had water in about 36 hours.

Lepine says a big concern now is that the island’s main supply chain in Miami is about to get pounded by Irma and that another weaker hurricane — Jose — is expected to hit Saint-Martin on Saturday.

The Canadian Forces has ordered a Halifax-based warship to be at the ready as the military plans for a potential response to Irma — the most potent Atlantic hurricane ever.

It says the frigate HMCS St. John’s, which returned to Halifax six weeks ago after a six-month deployment in the Mediterranean Sea, has been identified to support any relief efforts.

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