Storm ‘Fiona’ Hits Canada’s East Coast; thousands of homes without electricity

The powerful Storm Fiona hit eastern Canada this Saturday with gale force winds, downing trees and power lines and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the center of the storm, downgraded to post-tropical cyclone fionawas now in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence after passing through Nova Scotia. Reports of downed trees and power lines were widespread in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Photo: Reuters

“She was a wild ride last night, it sounded like the whole roof was going to fly offsaid Gary Hatcher, a retiree who lives in Sydney, Nova Scotia, near where the storm made landfall. A maple tree was felled in his backyard but did not cause damage to his house.

Fiona, who almost a week ago hit Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbeanmade landfall between Canso and Guysborough, Nova Scotia, where the Canadian Hurricane Center said it recorded what may have been the lowest barometric pressure of any storm to make landfall in the country’s history.

“We were up all night,” said Dave DeBlois of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, who said his home suffered no major damage. “It was a little scary at times,” he said. “You could feel the house rocking”.

About 79% of customers, or 414,000, were without power in Nova Scotia, and 95%, or 82,000, had lost power in Prince Edward Island, the utilities said. The region was also experiencing irregularities in mobile phone service. Police throughout the region reported multiple road closures.

Photo: Reuters

TRUDEAU DELAYS TRIP TO JAPAN

The storm weakened slightly as it traveled north. At 8 a.m. (1200 GMT), it was over the Gulf of St. Lawrence. about 200 miles (340 km) northeast of Halifax, with maximum winds of 85 miles per hour (140 kph) and moving north about 23 mph (37 miles). kph), the NHC said.

Experts predicted strong winds, storm surge and heavy rain from Fiona. The storm is forecast to gradually weaken but is expected to maintain hurricane-force winds through Saturday afternoon, the NHC said.

Designated a hurricane when it hit the Caribbean islands earlier in the week, Fiona killed at least eight people and left virtually all of Puerto Rico’s 3.3 million residents without power during a sweltering heat wave. Nearly a million people remained without power five days later.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delayed Saturday’s departure for Japan, where he was to attend former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s funeral, to receive briefings and support the government’s emergency response, he said. press secretary Cecely Roy On twitter.

A hurricane warning was in effect for much of the central Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Islandhome to more than 150,000 people, and parts of Newfoundland, the Miami-based NHC said.

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

The storm could prove fiercer than the points of Hurricane Juan reference in 2003 and Hurricane Dorian in 2019, Canadian Hurricane Center meteorologist Bob Robichaud said at a briefing Friday.

The country’s two largest airlines, Air Canada and WestJet Airlines, suspended regional service starting Friday night.