Canada braces for ‘extreme event’ as Storm Fiona approaches after leaving path of destruction

Canada braces for ‘extreme event’ as Storm Fiona approaches after leaving path of destruction

Residents of Nova Scotia and other parts of Canada braced for hurricane-force winds and a possible historic storm surge as Hurricane Fiona approached on Friday.

Evacuation centers opened in Halifax, Nova Scotia’s largest city, there were more than 800 utility workers across the province and officials in nearby Prince Edward Island warned of a storm surge of up to eight feet.

“It’s certainly going to be a historic extreme event for eastern Canada,” Bob Robichaud, a warning preparedness meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Center, said at a briefing Friday.

Fiona is forecast to be a “very powerful post-tropical storm” with gale-force winds when it makes landfall near the community of Canso in eastern Nova Scotia early Saturday, the Canadian hurricane center said.

As of 9 pm Halifax time, the storm was “quickly accelerating” toward Nova Scotia, Canada’s hurricane center said.

“Conditions will rapidly deteriorate in the next few hours,” he said.

The storm, which was a Category 3 hurricane on Friday night with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph, previously caused extensive destruction in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Bermuda was lashed by heavy rain and 100 mph gusts on Friday as Fiona passed through as a Category 4 hurricane, officials said. No deaths were reported there.

In Canada, officials have warned of possible lengthy power outages and urged residents to be prepared.

Hurricane warnings stretched from Nova Scotia from Hubbards, which is west of Halifax, to the east, according to the US National Hurricane Center.

Image: A pedestrian protects himself with an umbrella as he walks along the Halifax waterfront as rain falls before Hurricane Fiona makes landfall in Halifax on September 23, 2022.
A pedestrian protects himself with an umbrella as he walks along Halifax’s waterfront as rain falls before Hurricane Fiona makes landfall in Halifax on September 23, 2022.Darren Calabrese / Canadian Press via AP

Prince Edward Island, Isle-de-la-Madeleine and western Newfoundland and Labrador were also under hurricane warnings, the US agency said. Tropical storm warnings covered other areas.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his thoughts were with the people of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and urged Canadians to be prepared.

“It’s going to be bad,” Trudeau said Friday at an appearance with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. “The federal government, as always, will be there with the necessary support and resources; Of course, we hope that they will not be very necessary, but we think that they probably will be.

Image: Empty shelves are seen at a grocery store as shoppers stock up on food before Hurricane Fiona makes landfall in Halifax on September 23, 2022.
Empty shelves are seen at a grocery store as shoppers stock up on food before Hurricane Fiona makes landfall in Halifax on September 23, 2022. Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police urged people to stay off the roads and avoid unnecessary travel until the storm passes. Nova Scotia emergency officials, anticipating outages, have warned residents of the deadly dangers of carbon monoxide from generators if used indoors.

At Petit-de-Grat on Cape Breton Island, Jordan David was helping his friend Kyle Boudreau tie up Boudreau’s lobster boat “Bad Influence” hoping the winds wouldn’t lift it up and break it.

“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,” David told The Associated Press.

Puerto Rico experienced an island-wide power outage as Fiona approached the island on Sunday, and many remained without power on Friday, five days later.

Eight deaths are suspected to be related to the storm there, authorities said. Emergency officials confirmed two deaths in the Dominican Republic, involving a tree falling on a man and a woman who died in a motorcycle accident, in connection with the storm.

Canada has been hit by powerful storms that started as hurricanes before, even three years ago.

In 2019, Hurricane Dorian hit Nova Scotia as a strong post-tropical cyclone, leaving 412,000 customers without power. Damage in Nova Scotia was estimated at nearly $102 million, the CBC reported.

In 2003, Canada was hit by Hurricane Juan, a Category 2 storm that made landfall and swept through Nova Scotia. Eight people were killed there by the storm or its aftermath, according to Canada’s weather service.

That storm caused so much damage that the World Meteorological Organization removed Juan’s name from its list of hurricane names, at Canada’s request.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.