Fiona knocks out power and washes away homes in Atlantic Canada

Fiona washed homes out to sea, ripped off roofs from others and knocked out power to most of two Canadian provinces as it struck as a major, powerful post-tropical cyclone before dawn on Saturday.

Fiona Changed from hurricane It entered the tropical storm late Friday, but it still had hurricane-force winds and brought drenching rain and huge waves. No casualties or injuries confirmed.

North-Tropical Storm Fiona is one of the largest storms in Canada to make landfall in Nova Scotia.
Vehicles overturned after trees and downed power lines blocked the road after post-tropical storm Fiona hit Reserve Mines in Nova Scotia on Cape Breton Island, Canada, on September 24, 2022.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The city of Channel-Port aux Basques on the southern coast of Newfoundland was hit by sea waves, where the entire structure was swept into the sea. Mayor Brian Button said on social media Saturday that people were being moved to higher ground after the wind downed power lines.

“I see houses in the ocean. I see debris floating everywhere. It’s completely and utterly destroyed. There’s an apartment gone,” Rene J. Roy, a resident of Channel-Port aux Basques and editor-in-chief of Wreckhouse Press, said in a phone interview.

Roy estimated that eight to 12 houses and buildings were swept into the sea. “It’s pretty scary,” he said.

Jolene Garland, spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Newfoundland and Labrador, said a woman is safe and in “good health” after being “thrown into the water by a house collapse” in the Channel-Port aux Basques area. Garland said the person who was swept away was still reported missing and high winds were hampering aerial searches.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the town of 4,000 people was under a state of emergency as authorities battled several electrical fires and residential flooding.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau canceled a trip to Japan to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Trudeau said the federal government would deploy the Canadian Armed Forces to help.

“We’re seeing devastating images coming out of Port aux Basques. PEI (Prince Edward Island) has unprecedented storm damage. Cape Breton has also been hit hard,” Trudeau said.

“Canadians are thinking of all those affected by Hurricane Fiona, which is having a devastating impact in the Atlantic Provinces and eastern Quebec, particularly in the Magdalen Islands. There are people who see their homes destroyed, people who are very worried – we will be there. For you.”

Fiona weakened to tropical storm strength Saturday evening as it moved through the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The US National Hurricane Center said Fiona had sustained winds of 70 mph (110 km/h). It was centered about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of Port aux Basques and moving northeast at 8 mph (13 kph). Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 550 miles (890 km) from the center.

“Gradual weakening is expected over the next few days,” the NHC wrote.

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said the roof of the apartment building collapsed and moved 100 people to an evacuation center. He said no one was seriously injured or killed. Provincial officials said there were other apartment buildings that also sustained significant damage. About 160 people have been displaced from two apartments in Halifax, officials said.

More than 415,000 Nova Scotia Power customers — about 80% of the province’s nearly 1 million — were affected by the outage Saturday morning. More than 82,000 customers in the province of Prince Edward Island, about 95%, were also without power, while NB Power in New Brunswick reported 44,329 without power.

The Canadian Hurricane Center tweeted early Saturday that Fiona had the lowest pressure ever recorded for a storm to make landfall in Canada. Forecasters had warned that it could be one of the most powerful storms in the country.

“We’re getting more and more intense storms,” ​​Trudeau said Saturday.

Climate change could mean a storm every few years in 100 years, he said, adding that more resilient infrastructure is needed to deal with extreme weather events.

“Things are just getting worse,” Trudeau said.

A state of local emergency was also declared by the mayor and council of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

“There are houses that have been heavily damaged by fallen trees, big old trees. We’re also seeing houses that have roofs completely ripped off, windows broken. There’s a lot of debris. Roadways,” the mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality Amanda McDougal told The Associated Press

“There’s been a lot of damage to property and structures but no injuries to people at this point. Again we’re still in the middle of this,” she said. “It’s still terrifying. I’m sitting here in my living room and it feels like the patio doors are going to blow right in with that big wind.”

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said roads were washed out, including his own, and an “unbelievable” amount of trees were downed.

“It’s pretty devastating. The sad reality is that people who need information can’t hear it. Their phones don’t work, they don’t have electricity or access to the Internet,” Houston said.

Peter Gregg, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Power, said the unprecedented peak winds caused severe damage. “In many areas, the weather conditions are still too dangerous for our crews to get up in our bucket trucks,” Gregg said. He said about 380,000 customers remained without power as of Saturday afternoon.

Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King said he had no reports of serious injuries or deaths. But he said some communities had been spared damage, with devastation seemingly beyond anything he had seen in the province before. He said more than 95% of islanders remained without electricity.

Federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said the airport in Sydney, Nova Scotia, had suffered extensive damage. He said other airports were also hit, but damage to the Halifax facility, Nova Scotia’s largest, was minor.

Hurricanes are somewhat rare in Canada, as storms lose their main source of energy once they reach colder waters. But subtropical cyclones can still have hurricane-force winds, even though they have a cold core and no eye. They often lose their symmetrical appearance and look more like commas.

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

In the Caribbean, Tropical Storm Ian It was predicted to strengthen rapidly And it hit Cuba as a hurricane early Tuesday and then hit South Florida on Wednesday or Thursday, the US National Hurricane Center said.

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