Storm Fiona wreaks havoc on Canada’s east coast, wreaking ‘terrifying’ devastation

STEPHENVILLE, Newfoundland, Sept. 24 (Reuters) – Powerful storm Fiona swept through eastern Canada on Saturday with hurricane-force winds, forcing evacuations, knocking down trees and power lines, turning many homes on the coast into “just a pile of rubble in the area.” Ocean.”

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm’s center, which has been downgraded to post-tropical hurricane Fiona, is now in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and is losing some momentum. The NHC has canceled hurricane and tropical storm warnings for the region.

The city of Port-au-Basque, located on the southwestern tip of Newfoundland with a population of 4,067, bore the brunt of the storm’s fury.

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The mayor had to declare a state of emergency and evacuate parts of the city that suffered from flooding and road erosion.

Renee Roy, editor-in-chief of Wreckhouse Weekly in Port aux Basques, told Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

“This is the most terrifying thing I have ever seen in my life,” Roy said, describing several homes as “just a pile of rubble in the ocean right now.”

“There is an apartment building that is already finished. There are whole streets that have disappeared,” he added. CBC reported that police are investigating whether a woman was washed out to sea.

“We had a very difficult morning,” Patton said in a Facebook video, adding that evacuations had been completed. “We’ll get through this. I promise we’ll get through it.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday morning met with members of the government’s emergency response team, and later told reporters that the armed forces would be deployed to help clean up.

“We are seeing reports of significant damage in the region, and recovery will be a major effort,” Trudeau said. “We will be there to support every step of the way.”

Trudeau has postponed his scheduled departure on Saturday to Japan for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s funeral, but said he would not make the trip now. Instead, he said he would visit the storm-affected area as soon as possible.

Trudeau said the federal aid for Nova Scotia has already been approved, and more applications are expected.

Fiona, which hit Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean nearly a week ago, killed at least eight people and caused power outages for nearly all of Puerto Rico’s 3.3 million residents during the intense heat wave.

Fiona made landfall between Canso and Gisboro, Nova Scotia, where the Canadian Hurricane Center said it recorded the lowest barometric pressure of any landfall storm in the country’s history.

Ian Hubbard, a meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Center, told Reuters it appeared Fiona had lived up to expectations that it would be a “historic” storm.

“She seems to have the potential to break the all-time record in Canada, and she appears to have done so,” he said. “We still haven’t gotten out of this yet.”

Storms are not uncommon in the area and usually pass quickly, but Fiona is expected to affect a very large area.

While scientists have not yet determined whether climate change has affected Fiona’s strength or behaviour, there is strong evidence that these devastating storms are getting worse.

Hundreds of thousands without strength

Utility companies said about 69% of customers, or 360,720, were without power in Nova Scotia, and 95%, or more than 82,000, lost electricity in Prince Edward Island. Police across the area reported multiple road closures. The area was also experiencing intermittent mobile phone service.

Mobile and Wi-Fi Service Provider Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO) She said she was aware of the outage caused by Fiona, and crews would work to restore service “as soon as possible”.

Hubbard said PEI produces more than a fifth of Canadian potatoes and that the island’s potato farms, which are in harvest season, are likely to be affected by the storm.

“This morning we all woke up to some very frightening scenes, swept roads, uprooted trees, mailboxes where they weren’t supposed to be,” Darlene Compton, deputy prime minister of Prince Edward Island, told reporters, adding that it was a “nervous” night.

In Halifax, 11 boats sank at the Sherwater Yacht Club and four were grounded, said Eileen Keane, who has a boat at the club that escaped damage.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault said no injuries or deaths had been reported so far, and officials from Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia said the same.

The storm weakened somewhat as it moved north. By 5 p.m. in Halifax (2100 GMT), the waters over the Gulf of St. Lawrence were about 80 miles (130 km) northwest of Port-au-Pasques, and had maximum winds of 70 mph (110 kph), according to What the National Committee said.

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Reporting by Eric Martin in Halifax and John Morris in Stephenville; Additional reporting by Evlis Rivera in San Juan and Puerto Rico, Ismail Shakeel and Steve Shearer in Ottawa and Denny Thomas in Toronto; Written by Steve Shearer; Editing by Bill Bercrot, Diane Kraft and Daniel Wallis

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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