For the second time in four years, Berwick church campgrounds hit hard by storm

Nancy Kelly
Published on July 15, 2014

Post-tropical storm Arthur’s path of destruction through the United Church campgrounds in Berwick has left the camp association struggling to conduct a clean up in time for its annual encampment.

Wayne Fiander, who serves as vice-president of finance for the Berwick Camp Association, met with other camp officials about the damage to the facility on July 9.

“Right now, the priority is to make the camp safe,” he said.

Storm damage included the loss of 10 towering hemlock trees on the 27-acre camp property.

See more photos of Arthur's destruction, including at the campground, here.

“And two to three times that many trees have been damaged and will have to be removed or cut back as well,” he added.

Broken tree pieces in the canopy of the trees present “another real danger,” he said.

Compared to the 400 trees lost in a 2010 windstorm, Fiander says the camp got off easy during Arthur.

“But he still left a big mess for us to clean up.”

Fiander reported the closed pavilion was the hardest hit of all the structures and he won’t know until trees have been trimmed how much damage has been done to the cottages and residence structures. Several power poles were also damaged and, as of July 9, only the dining room was connected to power. 

There is no timetable to have the work completed, and he feared getting private arborists and electricians into the camp anytime soon could be challenging.

The annual Berwick United Church encampment is scheduled to begin July 25. While Fiander is confident the camp will go ahead, he can’t guarantee how much power the camp will have.

“Most likely, not all cottages will have power.”

The storm forced participants of a weekend yoga retreat out of the camp on July 5 and forced cancellation of the week-long Atlantic Christian Ashram, scheduled for July 12-17, which has been held at the church campgrounds since 1969.

“That is a blow to the Ashram, to us and the town,” said Fiander.