Fiona brings heavy rain, wind to Canada after pounding Bermuda

Hurricane Fiona was downgraded to a tropical cyclone late Friday, but forecasters warned it could still bring hurricane-force winds, heavy rain and large waves to the Atlantic Canada region and has the potential to become one of the most intense storms in the country’s history. .

Fiona, which began the day as a Category 4 storm but weakened to Category 2 strength late Friday, was already “producing strong winds and very heavy rain” over Nova Scotia late Friday night, the Canadian Hurricane Center wrote in an advisory. Landfall was forecast in Nova Scotia early Saturday morning.

agency was issued A hurricane and tropical storm warning is in effect for the broad coast of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

As of late Friday night, utility company Nova Scotia Power reported on its website More than 185,000 customers were without power as a result of the storm.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an advisory that Fiona will move across Nova Scotia into the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Saturday. It will reach the Labrador Sea by late Sunday.

“Although forecast to gradually weaken over the next two days, Fiona will maintain hurricane-force winds through Saturday morning,” the NHC wrote, noting that parts of Atlantic Canada could see a “dangerous storm surge.” Coastal flooding.

As of 11 pm EDT Friday, the NHC said Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. It was centered about 140 miles east of Halifax, Nova Scotia, moving north at 46 mph.

Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and western Newfoundland could receive 3 to 6 inches of rain from Fiona, the NHC reported. Labrador and eastern Quebec could get 2 to 5 inches.

“This will definitely be one of the most powerful, tropical cyclones in the country,” said Ian Hubbard, a meteorologist at the Canadian Hurricane Center in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. “It will certainly be as serious and bad as anything I’ve seen.”

Hubbard said the storm was weakening as it moved over colder water, and he thought it unlikely it would make landfall at hurricane strength. Hurricanes are somewhat rare in Canada, as storms lose their main source of energy once they reach colder waters. and become tropical. But those hurricanes can still have hurricane-force winds, even if the warm core is cold rather than visible to the eye. Their size can also be different. They lose their symmetrical appearance and can look more like commas.

Tropical climate
National Hurricane Center National Hurricane Center This satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a Thursday night, Sept. 22, 2022, satellite view of Hurricane Fiona as it makes landfall along the United States Atlantic coast.

/ AP

“It’s going to be bad,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday. “We certainly hope there won’t be much need, but we think there probably will be. And we’ll be there for it. In the meantime we encourage everyone to stay safe and listen to local authorities and hang in there. For the next 24 hours.”

Officials in Nova Scotia sent out emergency alerts warning of Fiona’s arrival and urged people to stay indoors, avoid the coast, charge devices and carry enough supplies for at least 72 hours. Officials warned of prolonged power outages, wind damage to trees and structures, and coastal flooding and possible road washouts.

A tornado warning was in effect for Nova Scotia from Hubbards to Brule; Prince Edward Island; Isle-de-la-Madeleine; and Newfoundland from Parson’s Pond to Francois.

Drone captures footage from inside Cyclone Fiona


People across Atlantic Canada were stocking up on last-minute essentials and storm-proofing their properties on Friday ahead of the arrival.

At the Samson Enterprises boatyard in the small Acadian community of Petit-de-Grat on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island, Jordan David was helping his friend Kyle Boudreau tie down his lobster boat “Bad Influence,” hoping it wouldn’t be lifted and broken. by the wind

“We can only hope for the best and prepare as best we can. Something is coming, and how bad is yet to be determined,” said David, wearing his outdoor waterproof gear.

Kyle Boudreau said he’s worried.

“It’s our livelihood. Our boats break, our traps break … it’s stuff you don’t need to start next year’s season,” he said.

Amanda McDougall, mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said authorities were preparing shelters for people ahead of the storm’s arrival.

“We have been through these types of incidents before, but my fear is not on this scale,” she said. “The impacts will be big, real and immediate.”

Nova Scotia Power CEO Dave Pickles said widespread power outages are expected.

Fiona has been blamed for at least five deaths so far – two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one in the French island of Guadeloupe.

Fiona was a Category 4 hurricane When heavy rains hit Bermuda and earlier winds on Friday. Authorities there opened shelters and closed schools and offices. National Security Minister Michael Weeks said there were no reports of major damage.

Before reaching Bermuda, Fiona caused severe flooding and destruction in Puerto Rico, US President Joe Biden Say Thursday The full force of the federal government is ready to help the US sector recover.

“We’re all in this together,” Mr. Biden said during a briefing with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials in New York.

Mr. Biden noted that hundreds of FEMA and other federal officials are already on the ground in Puerto Rico, where Fiona caused blackouts across the island.

More than 60% of electricity customers remained without power Thursday and a third were without water, while local officials said they could not say when service would be fully restored.

By Friday, hundreds of people Puerto Rico Five days after the hurricane struck the island remained isolated due to blocked roads. Desperation was mounting for people like Nancy Galarza, who tried to signal for help from work crews who saw her in the distance.

“Everybody goes there,” she said, pointing to crews at the bottom of the mountain who were helping others also torn apart by the storm. “No one comes here to see us. I worry about all the elderly people in this community.”

At least five landslides engulfed the narrow road leading to her community in the high mountains surrounding the northern town of Caguas. The only way to reach the settlement was to climb over thick piles of mud, rocks and rubble left behind by Fiona, whose floodwaters shook the foundations of nearby houses with earthquake-like force.

At least eight of the 11 communities in Caguas were completely isolated, said municipal recovery and reconstruction inspector Luis Gonzalez.

It was one of at least six municipalities where crews had not yet reached some areas. People there often rely on help from neighbors, as they did after Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm in 2017 that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Dansiel Rivera arrives in rural Caguas with a church group and tries to bring some joy by dressing up as a clown.

“That’s very important in these moments,” he said, noting that people never fully recovered from Hurricane Maria.

His big clown shoes went through the mud as he greeted people, whose faces smiled at him.

Meanwhile, NHC gave this information late on Friday night Tropical Storm Ian The Caribbean could reach Florida by Monday, possibly as a hurricane, and could cause flash flooding. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in response. The storm was expected to bring heavy rain to Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands before reaching South Florida.

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