Fiona hits Atlantic Canada: Millions without power as storm sweeps north

First up is Fiona Caused destruction Moves into the Atlantic as a hurricane in the Caribbean and makes landfall again as a post-tropical cyclone. The storm tore a path of destruction Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland weaken before moving offshore on Sunday.

Now, officials have started to assess the damage in the area.

Nova Scotia, where Fiona first made landfall early Saturday morning, was hit hard by the storm. Strong winds toppled trees and power lines, destroyed roads, littered neighborhoods, and in several cases, snapped entire power poles in half, officials said.

Premier Tim Houston said Sunday morning that authorities are prioritizing power restoration after Fiona damaged power lines and communications networks across the province.

“Clearing the roads, giving the crews space to do what needs to be done, that’s the most important thing right now,” Houston said. “It will take time.”

Although about 200 people have now been displaced from their homes, Houston said there were not many reports of serious injuries.

“The damage is significant, but the priority right now is to get people back to power, to get people to safe shelter, you know, to get some people back to normal,” he said. “It’s going to take time for us to get out of this.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday that the government has approved Nova Scotia’s request for federal assistance and that the Canadian Armed Forces will be deployed to help in the region. The Prime Minister said residents lived through a “terrible” 12 hours on Saturday.

“People have seen their homes blown away and winds tearing off the roofs of schools,” Trudeau said. “As Canadians, as we always do in difficult times, we will be there for each other.”

In Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, police shared images of downed power lines on buildings, fallen trees blocking roads and piercing structures. The area’s utility said it was concerned about people walking and driving on streets with widespread damage from offshore power lines, downed power lines and possible live wires.

Power outages across Nova Scotia

Many provinces were hit by strong winds and rain, but none more so than Nova Scotia. As of Sunday morning, about 350,000 customers were without power across Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick early Sunday morning — including about 250,000 in Nova Scotia.

Houston said Saturday that three-quarters of Nova Scotia lost power as Fiona pushed through. Peak winds reached 171 km/h (106 mph) in Arisaig province on Saturday. Meanwhile, Wreckhouse in Newfoundland sustained winds of 170 km/h (105 mph).

Bad weather is hampering power restoration efforts, Nova Scotia Power president and CEO Peter Gregg said Saturday. More than 900 electrical technicians were on their way to the area, but some customers may experience power outages for days, he said.

In Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, strong winds uprooted trees and downed power lines, sparks flew and lights went out.

The roof of a Halifax apartment building collapsed, forcing about 100 people to take shelter, Mayor Mike Savage told CNN on Saturday.

“The scale of this storm is breathtaking,” Savage later said at a press conference Saturday. “It was all predicted.”

Osborne Head in Nova Scotia received 192 mm (7.55 in) of rain and Grove Brook in New Brunswick received 107 mm (4.2 in).

‘Total war zone,’ says the mayor of Port aux Basques

In Newfoundland, video shows buildings floating in water and cars submerged under heavy rain. A woman has been rescued from the water after her home collapsed, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. She was taken to the hospital; The extent of his injuries was not immediately known, police said.

The town of Port aux Basques, on the southwestern tip of Newfoundland, was one of the worst-hit areas, Trudeau said Saturday.

'It's surreal': Residents on Canada's Atlantic coast describe devastation as Fiona wipes out homes, knocks out power to thousands

“We are seeing devastating images coming out of Port aux Basques,” he said. “When we see images of homes falling into the sea, waves destroying property and buildings, our first thought should be for the people.”

First responders dealt with multiple electrical fires, residential flooding and washouts.

“We have a complete war zone here, we’ve got destruction everywhere,” Port-aux-Basque Mayor Brian Button said in a video update, warning that storm surge was expected.

Port aux Basques is now under a boil water order, and many residents are still without power. Concrete barricades have been erected around areas that have become “danger zones” from the storm, the mayor said.

According to the Canadian Hurricane Centre, the Port aux Basques tide gauge recorded a maximum total water level of 2.73 meters (8.96 feet) — topping its previous record of 2.71 meters (8.89 feet) set in 2017.

CNN’s Derek Van Dam, Eric Levenson, Tina Burnside, Jason Hanna, Christina Maksoris, Hannah Charisone and Andy Rose contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.