Fiona, a large, violent post-tropical storm that made landfall before dawn Saturday, swept buildings into the sea, ripped roofs off others, and knocked out electricity to the great majority of two Canadian provinces.
Fiona degraded from a hurricane to a post-tropical storm late Friday, but it retained hurricane-force gusts and produced torrential rainfall and massive waves. There was no word about fatalities or injuries.
Vehicles turn back as Post-Tropical Storm Fiona hits Reserve Mines, Nova Scotia, on Cape Breton Island in Canada on September 24, 2022, as trees and downed power wires block a route. DREW ANGERER/GETTY IMAGES
Ocean waves devastated the village of Channel-Port Aux Basques on Newfoundland's southern coast, washing entire structures into the sea. As a result of the downed power lines, Mayor Brian Button announced on social media Saturday that residents were being relocated to higher ground.
"I'm seeing houses on the seafloor. I'm seeing a lot of rubble floating about. It's total and utter devastation. There is a vacant apartment "René J. Roy, head editor of Wreckhouse Press and a resident of Channel-Port Aux Basques, stated over the phone.
Roy believed that eight to twelve houses and structures had been swept into the sea. "It's extremely frightening," he said.
According to Jolene Garland, a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Newfoundland and Labrador, a lady was "tossed into the sea when her home collapsed" in the Channel-Port Aux Basques area. Garland stated that a person who may have been washed away was still missing, and that heavy gusts were hindering an aircraft search.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police declared an emergency in the 4,000-person hamlet as officials battled with several electrical fires and residential floods.
The funeral of slain former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been canceled by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trudeau stated that the federal government will assist by deploying the Canadian Armed Forces.
"The photos coming out of Port aux Basques are heartbreaking. Storm damage on PEI (Prince Edward Island) has been unprecedented. Cape Breton is also heavily struck "added Trudeau.
"Canadians are praying for people impacted by Hurricane Fiona, which is wreaking havoc in the Atlantic provinces and eastern Quebec, notably in the Magdalen Islands. There are those who have had their homes damaged and are really concerned - we will be there for you."
Fiona had fallen to tropical storm intensity as it traveled through the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Saturday evening. Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in the United States (110 kph). It was located approximately 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of Port aux Basques and was traveling northeast at 8 miles per hour (13 kph). Tropical storm-force winds stretch up to 550 miles (890 kilometers) from the center.
The NHC predicted "gradual weakening over the following few of days."
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage stated that the roof of an apartment building collapsed and that 100 people were evacuated to an emergency center. He stated that no one was badly injured or killed. According to provincial officials, there are additional apartment complexes that have been severely damaged. According to authorities, around 160 people have been relocated from two flats in Halifax.
Outages hit around 415,000 Nova Scotia Power customers Saturday morning, accounting for almost 80% of the province's population of over 1 million people. Over 82,000 people in Prince Edward Island, or almost 95%, were also without power, according to NB Power, while 44,329 in New Brunswick were without power.
Early Saturday, the Canadian Hurricane Centre announced that Fiona had the lowest pressure ever recorded for a storm making landfall in Canada. Forecasters warned that it might be one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the United States.
"We're experiencing increasingly severe storms," Trudeau stated on Saturday.
He stated that more robust infrastructure is required to survive extreme weather occurrences, claiming that climate change may cause a once-in-a-century storm to occur every few years.
"Things are just getting worse," warned Trudeau.
The mayor and council of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality also announced a state of local emergency.
"Homes have been extensively damaged as a result of downed trees, with large ancient trees crashing down and inflicting major damage. We're also witnessing houses with their roofs entirely ripped off and windows bursting in. There is a great deal of debris on the roads "The mayor of Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Amanda McDougall, told The Associated Press
"There is significant damage to property and structures, but no one has been injured as of yet. Again, we're still in the thick of it "She stated. "It's still frightening. I'm sitting in my living room, and the strong winds are threatening to blow open the patio doors."
Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston stated highways, including his own, had been washed away and that a "amazing" number of trees had fallen.
"It's rather heartbreaking. The unfortunate fact is that some who require information are unable to hear it. Their phones aren't functioning, they don't have electricity, and they don't have internet connection "explained Houston.
According to Peter Gregg, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Power, exceptional peak winds caused significant damage. "Weather conditions are still too perilous in many spots for our personnel to climb up in our bucket trucks," Gregg added. He stated that over 380,000 consumers were still without power as of Saturday afternoon.
Premier Dennis King of Prince Edward Island stated there had been no reports of serious injuries or deaths. However, he stated that few settlements were spared harm, with the devastation appearing to be unprecedented in the province. He said that nearly 95% of the islanders were still without electricity.
Bill Blair, the federal minister of emergency preparedness, stated that the airport in Sydney, Nova Scotia, had suffered substantial damage. Other airports were also struck, he added, although the damage to the Halifax facility, Nova Scotia's largest, was limited.
Hurricanes are uncommon in Canada, in part because they lose their major source of energy once they reach cooler seas. Post-tropical cyclones, on the other hand, can still produce hurricane-force winds despite having a cold core and no apparent eye. They also frequently lose their symmetric shape and resemble a comma.
Fiona has been accused for at least five deaths, two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic, and one in Guadeloupe, France.
Tropical Storm Ian was expected to swiftly grow and hit Cuba as a hurricane early Tuesday before making landfall in southern Florida on Wednesday or Thursday, according to the United States National Hurricane Center.