A hurricane expected to strengthen into a massive post-tropical storm will bring strong winds, heavy rain and large waves to Atlantic Canada, forecasters said Friday, warning that it has the potential to be one of the most severe storms in the country’s history.
Hurricane Fiona, which had weakened slightly to a Category 3 storm, was forecast to make landfall in eastern Nova Scotia early Saturday morning, according to the Canadian Hurricane Centre, which had been monitoring hurricanes along extensive stretches of coastal Nova Scotia. Prince Edward. Island and Newfoundland.
Fiona’s eye will approach Nova Scotia late Friday and move into the Gulf of St. Lawrence by Saturday, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an advisory early Friday evening. It will reach the Labrador Sea by late Sunday.
“Fiona is expected to be a strong cyclonic storm as it moves into Atlantic Canada,” the NHC wrote, adding that some areas of Atlantic Canada could see a “dangerous storm surge.”
From 5 p.m. EDT Friday, the NHC said Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 125 mph. It was centered about 370 miles southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, moving northeast at 40 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.”
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.
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.
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.
Bob Robichaud, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist at the Canadian Hurricane Center, told a news conference that modeling was predicting low pressure “year-round” across the region, which will bring storm surges and 10 to 20 centimeters (4 to 8 inches) of rain. . .
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 said that a tropical depression in the Caribbean could reach Florida by Monday, possibly as a hurricane, and cause flash flooding. In response to Tropical Depression 9, 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.