Fiona washed houses to the sea, ripped off the roofs of others, and cut off power to the vast majority of two Canadian provinces when she landed in the form of a huge, powerful post-tropical cyclone on Saturday before dawn.
Fionaat the end of Friday it was a tropical storm, but the hurricane winds were still blowing and it was bringing heavy rains and huge waves. There was no confirmation of any fatalities or injuries.
Ocean waves struck the town of Channel-Port Aux Basques on the south coast of Newfoundland, where entire structures were washed into the sea. Mayor Brian Button said Saturday on social media that people were being evacuated to the highlands as winds severed power lines.
“I can see houses in the ocean. I can see rubble floating all over the place. It’s complete and utter destruction. There is an apartment that is not there, ”René J. Roy, a resident of Channel-Port Aux Basques and chief editor of Wreckhouse Press, said in a telephone interview.
Roy estimates eight to twelve houses and buildings washed into the sea. “It’s pretty scary,” he said.
Jolene Garland, spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Newfoundland and Labrador, said the woman was safe and “in good health” after “being thrown into the water when her house collapsed” in the Channel-Port Aux Basques area. Garland said the person who might have been kidnapped was still reported missing and that strong winds prevented an aerial search.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the city of 4,000 was in a state of emergency as authorities dealt with numerous electric fires and floods.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has canceled his trip to Japan for the funeral of the m*rdered former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Trudeau said the federal government would send the Canadian forces to help.
“We see devastating images coming out of Port aux Basques. PEI (Prince Edward Island) has experienced storm damage unlike any other. Cape Breton is hitting hard too, ”said Trudeau.
“Canadians think of all those affected by Hurricane Fiona, which is having devastating effects in the Atlantic provinces and eastern Quebec, especially in the Magdalen Islands. There are people who see their houses destroyed, people who are very worried – we will be there for you. “
Fiona weakened to the strength of a tropical storm on Saturday night as she traversed St. Lawrence Bay. The US National Hurricane Center reported that Fiona had a maximum sustained wind of 70 miles per hour (110 km / h). It was centered about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of Port aux Basques and was moving northeast at 8 mph (13 km / h). Tropical storm-force winds extend outward to 550 miles (890 km) from the center.
“A gradual weakening is expected in the next few days,” wrote the NHC.
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said the roof of an apartment building had collapsed and 100 people had been moved to the evacuation center. He said no one was seriously injured or killed. Provincial officials said there are other apartment blocks that are also severely damaged. Halifax has approximately 160 displaced people from two apartments, officials said.
More than 415,000 Nova Scotia Power customers – approximately 80% of nearly 1 million provinces – were affected by outages on Saturday morning. More than 82,000 customers in Prince Edward Island, approximately 95%, were also without electricity, while NB Power in New Brunswick reported that 44,329 were without electricity.
The Canadian Hurricane Center tweeted early Saturday that Fiona had the lowest pressure ever recorded in a storm that landed in Canada. Forecasts warned that this could be one of the most powerful storms to hit the country.
“We deal with more severe storms more often,” Trudeau said on Saturday.
He said more resilient infrastructure is needed to withstand extreme weather events, saying one storm in 100 years could start hitting every few years due to climate change.
“Situations are only getting worse,” said Trudeau.
A state of emergency has also been declared by the mayor and council of Cape Breton.
“There are houses that have been severely damaged by fallen trees, large old trees falling over and causing considerable damage. We also see houses whose roofs have been completely torn off, windows break out. roadways, ”Amanda McDougall, mayor of Cape Breton, told The Associated Press
“There has been a lot of damage to things and structures, but from then on, no human injuries. We’re still in the process again, ”she said. “It’s still scary. I just sit in the living room and it feels like the patio door will break in with these big gusts. “
Nova Scotia Prime Minister Tim Houston said roads had been washed away, including his own, and said an “incredible” amount of trees had been felled.
“This is quite devastating. The sad reality is that people who need information are unable to hear it. Their phones are not working, they have no power or internet access, ”said Houston.
Peter Gregg, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Power, said the unprecedented peak winds had caused severe damage. “In many areas, the weather is still too dangerous for our crews to board our trucks,” said Gregg. About 380,000 customers have been without electricity since Saturday afternoon, he said.
Prince Edward Island Prime Minister Dennis King said there were no reports of any serious injuries or d*aths. However, he said few communities have been spared the damage, and the devastation seems to go beyond anything they’ve seen before in the province. More than 95% of the islanders were left without electricity, he said.
Federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said Sydney, Nova Scotia had suffered extensive damage. Other airports were hit as well, he said, but damage to the Halifax facility, Nova Scotia’s largest airport, was minor.
Hurricanes in Canada are quite rare, in part because when storms reach colder waters, they lose their primary source of energy. However, post-tropical cyclones can still have hurricane-force winds, although they have a cold core and no visible eye. They also often lose their symmetrical form and look more like a comma.
Fiona so far– two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one on the French island of Guadeloupe.
Tropical storm Ian in the Caribbeanand hit Cuba on Tuesday as a hurricane and then hit south Florida on Wednesday or Thursday, the US National Hurricane Center said.
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