Hurricane Fiona has knocked out power supply to more than 500,000 customers in eastern Canada, damaging homes with strong winds and rain as it transformed from a hurricane into a post-tropical storm.
More than 415,000 Nova Scotia Power customers – about 80 percent of the province – were affected by outages on Saturday morning. More than 82,000 customers in the province of Prince Edward Island were also without power, while in New Brunswick 44,329 were without electricity.
“There is a lot of damage to belongings and structures but no injuries to people as of this point. Again we’re still in the midst of this,” Amanda McDougall, mayor of Cape Breton Regional Municipality, told The Associated Press news agency. “It’s still terrifying. I’m just sitting here in my living room and it feels like the patio doors are going to break in with those big gusts. It’s loud and it is shocking.”
The federal Public Safety ministry advised against all non-essential travel by car.
A hurricane watch was issued for coastal expanses of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decided to delay his trip to Japan for the funeral of assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“We of course hope there won’t be much needed, but we feel there probably will be,” Trudeau said. “Listen to the instructions of local authorities and hang in there for the next 24 hours.”
The fast-moving Fiona lost power from the Category 4 strength it had early Friday while passing by Bermuda, but meteorologists cautioned that it could still have hurricane-strength winds and would bring drenching rains and huge waves.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre tweeted early on Saturday that Fiona has the lowest pressure ever recorded for a storm making landfall in Canada. Forecasters had warned it could be one of the most powerful storms to hit the country.
— ECCC Canadian Hurricane Centre (@ECCC_CHC) September 24, 2022
A state of local emergency has been declared by the mayor and council of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality amid widespread power outages, road closures and damage to homes.
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