‘Total devastation’: Fiona causes major damage in eastern Canada

Post-tropical cyclone Fiona made landfall in eastern Canada on Saturday morning, slamming into the northeastern corner of Nova Scotia with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.

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Update 12:41 p.m. EDT Sept. 24: Cities in southwestern Newfoundland are facing significant damage after post-tropical cyclone Fiona made landfall in eastern Canada.

The former hurricane washed houses into the sea and ripped the roofs off other dwellings, The Associated Press reported. The storm also knocked out power to most of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Homes and businesses in the town Channel-Port Aux Basques on the southern coast of Newfoundland were particularly hard hit by the storm, according to CBC.

“What’s actually happening here is total devastation,” Mayor Brian Button told the news organization. “I’m telling you, it’s a mess out there.”

According to the National Hurricane Center’s noon EDT advisory, Fiona was located about 100 miles west-northwest of Port Aux Basques with maximum sustained winds at 80 mph.

The storm is expected to move north across the Gulf of St. Lawrence later Sunday and then move across Labrador before weakening.

“I’m seeing homes in the ocean. I’m seeing rubble floating all over the place. It’s complete and utter destruction. There’s an apartment that is gone, that is literally just rubble,” René J. Roy, a resident of Channel-Port Aux Basques and chief editor at Wreckhouse Press, told the AP in a phone interview.

In Halifax, Nova Scotia, an apartment complex’s roof collapsed, forcing about 100 people to seek shelter elsewhere, Mayor Mike Savage told CNN.

Original report: In its 5 a.m. EDT advisory, the National Hurricane Center said that the former hurricane was about 160 miles northeast of Halifax. One of the strongest storms ever to hit Canada made landfall over Guysborough, leaving hundreds of people without power, The Washington Post reported.

According to Canada’s weather service, gusts topping 100 mph were reported in Nova Scotia.

The National Hurricane Center said Fiona was moving north at 26 mph.

Parts of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward began feeling the effects of Fiona early Saturday as winds and rains caused power outages, CNN reported. More than 376,000 customers across Nova Scotia were without power so far, according to the region’s power outage center.

Bob Robichaud, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, told CTV that Fiona could be a bigger storm than Hurricane Juan, which caused major damage in Halifax in 2003. He added that the storm is about the same size as post-tropical storm Dorian, which impacted Canada in 2019.

“But it is stronger than Dorian was,” Robichaud told reporters during a briefing. “It’s certainly going to be a historic, extreme event for eastern Canada.”

Once a hurricane, Fiona was classified as a post-tropical cyclone by the National Hurricane Center as it headed north from Bermuda, displaying both tropical and high-latitude characteristics, the Post reported.

A slower north-northeast or northward track is expected through Sunday as Fiona returns to the Atlantic Ocean, according to the hurricane center.

Fiona brought devastating flooding to Puerto Rico and cut power to the entire island earlier this week, the Post reported.

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