Fiona brings heavy rain and wind to Canada after pounding Bermuda

Hurricane Fiona downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone late Friday, but forecasters warned it could bring hurricane-force winds, heavy rain and large waves to Atlantic Canada and could be one of the most severe 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 rainfall” over Nova Scotia late Friday night, the Canadian Hurricane Center wrote in a notice. It was expected to arrive in Nova Scotia in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The agency had issued hurricane and tropical storm warnings for extensive coastal areas of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

As of late Friday night, utility company Nova Scotia Power said on its website that 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 and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Saturday. It will reach the Labrador Sea by late Sunday.

“Although a gradual weakening is forecast over the next two days, Fiona is expected to maintain hurricane-force winds through Saturday morning,” the NHC wrote, adding that some areas of Atlantic Canada could see a “dangerous storm surge” expected to cause flooding on the coasts.

From 11 p.m. 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 get 3 to 6 inches of rain from Fiona, the NHC said. Labrador and eastern Quebec could get 2 to 5 inches.

“This will certainly be one of, if not the most powerful, tropical cyclones to affect our part of the country,” said Ian Hubbard, a meteorologist for the Canadian Hurricane Center in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. “It will certainly be as serious and as bad as anything I’ve seen.”

Hubbard said the storm was weakening as it moved over cooler waters and thought it highly unlikely to make landfall at hurricane strength. Hurricanes in Canada are somewhat rare, in part because when storms reach cooler waters, they lose their main source of energy. and become extratropical. But these cyclones can still have hurricane-force winds, albeit with a cold instead of a warm core and no visible eye. Their shape can also be different. They lose their symmetrical form and can look more like a comma.

Tropical Weather
This image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center shows a satellite view as Hurricane Fiona moves up the Atlantic coast of the United States, Thursday evening, Sept. 22, 2022.

/ AP

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

Authorities in Nova Scotia sent an emergency alert to phones warning of Fiona’s arrival and urging people to stay indoors, avoid the coast, charge devices and have enough supplies for at least 72 hours. Officials warned of extended power outages, wind damage to trees and structures and coastal flooding and possible road evacuations.

A hurricane warning was in effect for Nova Scotia from Hubbards to Brule. Prince Edward Island? Isle-de-la-Madeleine; and Newfoundland from Lake Parson to Francois.

Drone captures footage inside Hurricane Fiona


People across Atlantic Canada were stocking up on last-minute essentials and sheltering from storms on Friday ahead of the arrival.

At the Samsons Enterprises shipyard 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 up his lobster boat, “Bad Influence,” in the hopes that it wouldn’t tip over and it’s gonna break. by winds.

“All we can do is hope for the best and prepare as best we can. Something is coming, and how bad is yet to be determined,” said David, donning his waterproof gear.

Kyle Boudreau said he was concerned.

“This is our livelihood. Our boats get wrecked, our traps get smashed … those are things you don’t need to start your season next year,” he said.

Amanda McDougall, mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said officials were preparing a shelter for people to enter before the storm arrived.

“We’ve been through these kinds of events in the past, but my fear is not to this extent,” he said. “The effects will be big, real and immediate.”

Dave Pickles, CEO of Nova Scotia Power, said he expects widespread power outages.

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

Fiona was a category 4 hurricane when it pounded Bermuda with heavy rains and winds earlier Friday. Authorities there opened shelters and closed schools and offices. Michael Weeks, the Homeland Security Secretary, said there were no reports of major damage.

Before reaching Bermuda, Fiona caused severe flooding and destruction in Puerto Rico, led by US President Joe Biden let’s say Thursday that the full force of the federal government is ready to help the US territory recover.

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

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

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

Since Friday, hundreds of people have entered Puerto Rico remained isolated by blocked roads five days after the typhoon hit the island. Frustration was mounting for people like Nancy Galarza, who tried to signal for help from crews she spotted from afar.

“Everybody’s going there,” he said, pointing to crews at the bottom of the mountain helping others cut off from the storm. “Nobody comes here to see us. I’m worried about all the seniors in this community.”

At least five landslides covered the narrow road to her community in the steep mountains around the northern city of Caguas. The only way to reach the settlement was to climb over thick piles of mud, rocks and debris left by Fiona, whose waters shook the foundations of nearby houses with earthquake-like force.

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

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

Danciel Rivera arrived in the province of Caguas with a church group and tried to bring some cheer dressed as a clown.

“This is very important in these times,” he said, noting that people had never fully recovered from Hurricane Maria.

The clown’s huge shoes crunched in the mud as he greeted people, whose faces lit up as they smiled at him.

Meanwhile, the NHC reported late Friday night that Tropical Storm Ian in the Caribbean could reach Florida by Monday, possibly as a hurricane, and cause flash flooding. In response, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency. The storm was expected to bring heavy rainfall to Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands before making landfall in South Florida.

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