Storm Fiona hits Canada’s east coast, forcing evacuations

Storm Fiona hits Canada's east coast, forcing evacuations
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HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, September 24 (Reuters) – Powerful storm Fiona hit eastern Canada on Saturday with hurricane-force winds, forcing evacuations, flying over trees and power lines and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm’s center, which was downgraded to Post-Tropical Hurricane Fiona, is now St. Lawrence after racing in Nova Scotia.

After the NHC took its toll on Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the storm hit Newfoundland, but said weakening is likely now.

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Port aux Basques, on Newfoundland’s southwestern tip, has declared a state of emergency and is evacuating parts of the city affected by flooding and roads, according to Mayor Brian Button and police.

“First responders are dealing with multiple electrical fires, residential flooding and decontamination. Residents are urged to follow evacuation orders and find a safe place to weather the storm,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Newfoundland said on Twitter.

Button said in a video posted to Facebook Saturday morning that he urged residents to stay inside or evacuate if desired. “There’s some destruction in town… We don’t need anyone getting hurt or injured in the meantime.”

The CBC reported that it showed images of debris and major damage in the town, with homes along the coastline being destroyed by the storm surge.

Fiona, which battered Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean, made landfall between Canso and Guysborough, Nova Scotia about a week ago, and the Canadian Hurricane Center said it has recorded the lowest barometric pressure of any storm to hit land. the history of the country.

Canadian Hurricane Center meteorologist Ian Hubbard told Reuters that Fiona met expectations that it would be a “historic” storm.

“It looked like it had the potential to break the all-time record in Canada, and it looks like it,” he said. “We’re not out of this business yet.”

Storms are not uncommon in the region and usually pass quickly, but Fiona is expected to affect a very large area.

Hubbard said Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island still had hours of strong winds, rain and storm surge, and Newfoundland’s west coast would be pounding during the day.

While scientists have yet to determine whether climate change is affecting Fiona’s strength or behavior, strong evidence that these devastating storms are getting worse.


Utilities said about 79%, or 414,000, of customers were without electricity in Nova Scotia, and 95%, or 82,000, lost power in Prince Edward Island. The area was also experiencing spotty cell phone service. Police reported that many roads in the region were closed to traffic.

“It was a wild ride last night, it felt like the whole roof was going to blow up,” said retired Gary Hatcher, who lives near where the storm hit in Sydney, Nova Scotia. A maple fell over in his backyard, but did not damage his home.

Hubbard said Sydney recorded wind gusts of 141 kph (88 mph).

The storm weakened a bit as we moved north. As of 11:00 am (1500 GMT), St. The NHC said Lawrence was about 160 km west-north-west of Port aux Basques, carrying maximum winds of 80 miles per hour (130 kph) and reaching north at about 25 mph (41 kph).

NHC said Fiona is expected to continue hurricane-force winds through Saturday afternoon.

Hurricane Fiona, a powerful hurricane when it hit the Caribbean islands earlier in the week, killed at least eight people and cut off electricity to nearly all of Puerto Rico’s 3.3 million people during a sweltering heatwave. close to one million people was powerless five days later.

No casualties have yet been reported in Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has delayed his trip to Japan to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday, to receive a briefing and support the government’s immediate response, Press spokesperson Cecely Roy said on Twitter.

Canadian authorities have sent emergency alerts warning of severe flooding and extremely dangerous waves along coastlines in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. People in coastal areas were advised to evacuate.

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Eric Martyn in Halifax and John Morris in Stephenville; Additional reporting by Ivelisse Rivera in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Ismail Shakil and Steve Scherer in Ottawa; Written by Steve Scherer; Editing by Frances Kerry and Bill Berkrot

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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