Nearly a week after devastating parts of the Caribbean, Hurricane Fiona has set upon Canada as the lowest pressure land-falling storm on record in the country. The hurricane made a landfall in Nova Scotia with winds of 152 km/hr observed on Beaver Island.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre said parts of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island started to feel the storm's arrival Saturday morning. Winds and rains extended far from the storm's center knocked out utilities. Over 300,000 households across Nova Scotia lost power. The Canadian Hurricane Centre expects Fiona to pass through Cape Breton Island on Saturday morning and reach the southeastern Labrador Sea by evening. The hurricane is producing severe winds and very heavy rainfall.
Widespread gusts of 80 – 110 km/hr, as per the Centre, have been reported over Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Iles-de-la-Madeleine. Fiona had downgraded to a Category 2 storm on Friday but is still expected to bring damaging storm surges, heavy rain and severe winds.
High Alert and Preparedness
Officials along the Atlantic seaboard have urged those in the hurricane's path to be on high alert and prepare for the impact. Fiona has also already battered the Caribbean islands and killed at least eight people. It knocked out power for all of Puerto Rico's 3.3 million people.
Ian Hubbard, Canadian Hurricane Centre meteorologist, said many, many places away from the center of the storm are still going to be seriously impacted from this. Bob Robichaud, another meteorologist, believes Fiona could prove more ferocious than the benchmarks of the 2003 Hurricane Juan and 2019's Hurricane Dorian.
Forecasters say Hurricane Fiona is on track to be an extreme weather event in eastern Canada, threatening to bring about two months' worth of rainfall. Chris Fogarty, Canadian Hurricane Centre manager, said this could be a landmark event for Canada in terms of intensity of a tropical cyclone, could evolve into Canada's version of Superstorm Sandy.