Hurricane Fiona: Forecasters warn storm will be ‘extreme weather event’ as it barrels toward eastern Canada

It will be an “extreme weather event” in eastern Canada, with powerful winds, dangerous storm surge and the threat of nearly two months of rain, Canadian Hurricane Center forecasters warned Friday afternoon. Some areas, such as the Canadian Maritimes, will begin to feel the effects Friday evening, the center said.

“This could be a major event for Canada in terms of tropical cyclone intensity,” Canadian Hurricane Center manager Chris Fogarty said, adding that it could become Canada’s version of Superstorm Sandy. Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states and the Eastern Seaboard, causing $78.7 billion in damage.

Officials in Canada’s Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island urged those in the storm’s path to be on high alert and prepared for the storm’s impact, which has already killed at least five people and left millions without power. hit several Caribbean islands.

Fiona crossed the Turks and Caicos and strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane early Wednesday morning over the Atlantic, and remained so until Friday afternoon.

The National Hurricane Center said in its 8 p.m. ET advisory that although the storm had weakened slightly, it had hurricane-force winds more than 100 miles from its center and tropical storm-force winds extending more than 300 miles.

Its center was 215 miles southeast of Halifax on Friday night.

“Although forecast to gradually weaken over the next two days, Fiona is expected to remain a powerful cyclonic-storm cyclone as it moves across Atlantic Canada,” the center said. said.

Tornado warning for parts of Nova Scotia

In Canada, hurricane warnings were in place for Nova Scotia from Hubbards to Brule and from Parsons Pond to Francois for Newfoundland. Prince Edward Island and Île-de-la-Madeleine are also on alert.

“It has the potential to be very dangerous,” said John Lohr, the minister in charge of the Office of Emergency Management fOr Nova Scotia. “The impacts are expected to be felt across the province. Every Nova Scotian should prepare today,” Lore added. During the official update Thursday.

Residents should prepare for damaging winds, high tides, coastal storm surge and heavy rainfall, which could lead to prolonged power outages, Loehr said. Emergency officials have encouraged people to protect outdoor items, cut down trees, charge cell phones and create a 72-hour emergency kit.

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According to Chris Fogarty, manager of the Canadian Hurricane Center, the region has not seen a storm this intense in about 50 years.

“Please take this seriously because we see weather numbers on our weather maps that are rare here,” Fogarty said.

Utility company Nova Scotia Power activated an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Friday morning, which will serve as a central coordination area for outage restoration and response, according to a news release.

The agency will work closely with the Nova Scotia Office of Emergency Management.

“We are taking all precautions and are prepared to respond to Hurricane Fiona as safely and efficiently as possible,” Nova Scotia Power’s storm lead coordinator Sean Borden said in the release.

Before Fiona arrives in Halifax on September 23, 2022, Francis Broom, project manager for general contractor G&R Kelly, places sandbags around the doors of the Nova Scotia Power building.

‘It’s going to be a bad one’

Andy Francis, a fisherman in southwestern Newfoundland, prepared for the storm this week by pulling one boat out of the water and tying another to a nearby dock.

“It seems like everyone has a consensus that this time it’s going to be a bad one,” he said. CBC News. He told the station that everyone else in the area was on standby to help “minimize the damage”.

“It’s going to be a different one,” Francis told the CBC.

Across Atlantic Canada, winds could reach 100 mph (160 kph) as Fiona is expected to weaken slightly before making landfall in Nova Scotia, CNN meteorologists Rob Shackelford and Taylor Ward said.

Prince Edward Island officials urged residents to prepare for the worst as the storm rolls through.

Tanya Mullally, who serves as the province’s emergency management chief, said one of Fiona’s most pressing concerns is the historic storm surge it is expected to unleash.

“The storm surge will certainly be significant. … Flooding that we’ve never seen or that we can’t measure,” Mullally said Thursday. During an update.

Canadian Hurricane Center modeling “could be anywhere from 1.8 to 2.4 meters (6-8 feet), depending on the area,” said Bob Robichaud, the center’s meteorologist.

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Mullally said the north side of the island bears the brunt of the storm because of the wind direction, which could cause property damage and coastal flooding.

All provincial campgrounds, beaches and day-use parks and Shubenacadie Wildlife Park are closed Friday, according to the Nova Scotia Office of Emergency Management.

Fiona’s power outage continues

Earlier this week, Fiona damaged homes and downed critical power and water infrastructure for millions of people across Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos.

Only 41% of customers had power restored Friday, days after Puerto Rico experienced blackouts across the island as Fiona made landfall Sunday, according to numbers from the power grid operator. LUMA Energy Published on The island’s emergency portal system.

Thursday’s high of 112 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, is causing widespread power outages as much of Puerto Rico endures intense heat. Temperatures on Friday were in the 80s and 90s, according to CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward.

Many people across Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are still without power or running water as Hurricane Fiona bears down on Bermuda.

Daniel Hernandez, director of renewable projects at LUMA, explained that critical locations, including hospitals, will be prioritized before individual repairs.

“This is a normal process. It’s important for everyone to remain calm… We are working to ensure that 100% of customers have service as soon as possible,” Hernandez said.

Also, more than a quarter of customers on the island have no water service or intermittent service, according to the emergency portal system.

Nancy Galarza looks at the damage Hurricane Fiona caused in her community in Caguas, Puerto Rico on Thursday, four days after the storm hit the rural community of San Salvador.

In the Dominican Republic, Fiona affected more than 8,000 families Another 2,262 houses were destroyed, according to Major General Juan Mendez García, head of the country’s emergency operations.

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More than 210,000 homes and businesses were still in the dark Thursday morning, and 725,246 customers were without water, he said.

Ramona Santana in Higay, Dominican Republic, told CNN en Español this week: “It’s something unbelievable that we’ve never seen before. “We’re on the street with nothing, no food, no shoes, no clothes, what’s on your back. … We have nothing, we have God, and hope that help will come.”

Fiona threatened parts of the Turks and Caicos on Tuesday, and earlier this week parts of the British territory, including Grand Turk, South Caicos, Salt Cay, North Caicos and Middle Caicos, were without power, Anya Williams said. Islands.

CNN’s Alison Sinzar, Melissa Alonso, Ana Melgar Zunica and Amanda Musa contributed to this report.

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