Fiona, now a post-tropical cyclone after a destructive run as a hurricane, has already leveled homes, downed trees and left thousands without power in Atlantic Canada after the storm made landfall early Saturday.
The Canadian Hurricane Center named Fiona a “historic storm for eastern Canada” already “potential historic weather event” in a region where hurricanes are relatively rare. Many storms weaken as they reach colder waters.
Fiona is expected to maintain hurricane-force winds through Saturday afternoon, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. It is expected to gradually weaken in the coming days.
Forecasters also warned that Fiona could cause widespread power outages, and about 400,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were without power Saturday morning, the utility reported.
where is fiona
As of Saturday morning, Fiona was about 100 miles northwest of Channel-Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and was moving north at 25 mph.
Before passing Bermuda on Friday, the storm devastated large swathes of the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Officials in Bermuda reported no serious damage.
At least five people have died after Hurricane Fiona: two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one on the French island of Guadeloupe.
PUERTO RICA INDEPENDENCE:After Hurricane Fiona, will Puerto Rico ever become a state or an independent nation?
The storm destroys the houses, collapses the roofs
When Fiona tore through Atlantic Canada, it washed away homes, downed trees and power lines, and tore roofs off homes. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Brian Button, mayor of the town of Channel-Port Aux Basques on Newfoundland’s south coast, said homes were already being swept away by the waters and residents were fleeing to higher ground.
“I’m seeing houses in the ocean. I’m seeing debris floating everywhere. It’s complete and utter destruction. There’s an apartment that’s gone that’s literally just debris,” said Rene J. Roy, a Channel resident -Port Aux Basques and editor-in-chief of Wreckhouse Press.
A woman in Channel-Port Aux Basques was rescued after being “thrown into the water when her house collapsed,” said Jolene Garland, spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Amanda McDougall, mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, also said there were downed trees, roofs torn off and debris strewn across the roads in her area. Mike Savage, mayor of Nova Scotia’s capital, Halifax, told CNN that 100 people were displaced when the roof of an apartment building collapsed.
Police in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, reported downed trees and posted photos of the damage on Twitterincluding one showing the roof of a house collapsed.
“The conditions are like nothing we’ve ever seen,” the police department said on Twitter.
Fiona touches down in Canada
Fiona made landfall in Canada early Saturday morning with sustained winds of up to 100 mph, the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane, according to AccuWeather.
AccuWeather forecasters predict Fiona could become “one of the strongest storms on record” in eastern Canada.
“This could be the storm of a lifetime for some people,” said AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jonathan Porter.
The storm is “the lowest-pressure land storm on record in Canada.” according to the Canadian Hurricane Center. Typically, the lower the barometric pressure, the stronger the storm.
THE CONSEQUENCES:In Puerto Rico, Hurricane Fiona leaves a “nightmare”.
The storm is about the same size as Post-Tropical Storm Dorian, which hit Canada in 2019, said Bob Robichaud, Canadian Hurricane Center warning preparedness meteorologist. But Fiona is expected to be stronger.
“It’s definitely going to be a historic and extreme event for eastern Canada,” Robichaud said.
5 YEARS AFTER MARIA:Puerto Ricans were still struggling with the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Then came Fiona.
Puerto Ricans furious at lack of power
Half of Puerto Rico was still without power more than five days after Hurricane Fiona hit, and Puerto Ricans were growing frustrated with the island’s private electricity transmission and distribution company .
The situation was exacerbated by fuel outages that forced grocery stores, gas stations and other essential businesses to close.
Puerto Rico’s power grid was already struggling in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which devastated the system in 2017.
HOW TO HELP:Mutual aid, non-profit organizations to support
Contributor: The Associated Press
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