Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Canadians Barred from Turks and Caicos Flight Allowed to Return Home

Canadians Barred from Turks and Caicos Flight Allowed to Return Home

Freeland says they'll be talking amongst themselves and with people who were rescued to find out what they can do better if there is a similar situation in the future.

The woman told CTV Montreal that she had been vacationing in a rented waterfront home but moved to a hotel in anticipation of the hurricane.

"When it came down to it", she said from her home in Niagara, Ont., "it was more (the friends and family members) that were the instrumental key players in helping our own loved ones".

Global Affairs said its emergency centre had processed 2,140 calls and emails as of Monday morning; officials said there have been no known Canadian fatalities from the storms.

"Thank God for WestJet", she said.

She told reporters ahead of a federal cabinet meeting today in St. John's, N.L., that 691 Canadians have now returned from widespread devastation in Turks and Caicos and St. Maarten.

In addition to expressing relief to being back in Canada, numerous passengers who landed in Toronto Monday night offered sympathies to those who live on the islands affected by the storm.

A Toronto-based aid organization says it's sent four people to storm-battered St. Maarten to deliver supplies to those affected by hurricane Irma. "My heart goes out to them because they can't get off (the islands)". "They have nothing now", he said. Among them was Naail Falah, who was there to put the "finishing touches" on a home he recently purchased in Turks and Caicos. "It was a very painful situation".

A Canadian Armed Forced C-17 Globemaster heavy transport plane is on its way to the region with much needed humanitarian supplies and we'll be able to pick up some remaining Canadians on its way back to Canada, Freeland said, urging the remaining Canadians in the region to register with Global Affairs Canada.

There was concern that hurricane Jose could hit the island Saturday night, but the Netherlands said the island was spared further damage because the storm passed farther from shore than expected. Those passengers were accepted because there were still empty seats on the flights, and no Canadians were turned away as a result, Freeland said.

One of the big mysteries over the weekend was why an Air Canada passenger plane that had arrived in Turks and Caicos several days ago wasn't allowed to leave with evacuees.

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