Hurricane Fiona Heavy rain lashed Bermuda early Friday as the now-category 3 storm moved toward northeastern Canada.
The center of the storm was passing northwest of Bermuda as of Friday morning, with maximum sustained winds near 125 mph, with high gusts near the U.S. National Hurricane Center Told. The storm was downgraded to a Category 4 hurricane as it passed over the island, it said.
Now, its sights are on Atlantic Canada, where hurricane strength will be historic for that region.
Canadian Hurricane Center Told Fiona was expected to reach the waters of the maritime province of Nova Scotia by Friday evening, with “heavy rainfall” and powerful “hurricane force winds” expected to hit Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec early Saturday.
“This storm is shaping up to be a severe event for Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec,” it said on its website in an update early Friday. “Many weather models are consistent in their prediction of what we call a deep hybrid low pressure system, characterized by both tropical and intense winter storms with very heavy rainfall and strong winds.”
Hurricanes are relatively rare in Canada, as hurricanes usually lose their main source of energy once they hit cold water.
However, Canada’s east coast has seen similar storms before, including Hurricane Juan in 2003, which heavily affected parts of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and caused many deaths, according to the Canadian Hurricane Center. It said the storm caused widespread power cuts, damage to large trees and caused record coastal water levels.
The North Atlantic, where Fiona is headed, also represents some of the fastest warming in the world, with warmer sea surface temperatures in the region attributed to climate change.
The Hurricane Center said that strong winds and rain accompanying Fiona will have a “major impact” for eastern Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, western Newfoundland, eastern Quebec and southeastern Labrador.
“There will also be large waves, particularly for the Atlantic coasts of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and the eastern parts of the Gulf of St. Lawrence,” the hurricane center said. It also warned of a high possibility of “storm surges” or unusual surges of water due to storms in parts of Nova Scotia, western Newfoundland and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The Hurricane Center also warned of the possibility of downing trees and power outages, noting that “most areas will experience hurricane force winds.” It said construction sites could also be “particularly vulnerable” to the storm.
Fiona has left great catastrophe in view of thisOne death was confirmed in the Dominican Republic and another confirmed death in Guadeloupe, including eight deaths suspected to be linked to the storm in Puerto Rico.
In Puerto Rico, much of the population is still without access to electricity and clean drinking water as recovery efforts continue after homes were destroyed, trees felled and roads were blocked by storms.
As of early Friday, at least 928,000 customers were affected by a power outage in Puerto Rico, according to an online tracker power outage.us
speaking in Thursday Briefing Along with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials in New York, President Joe Biden said hundreds of FEMA and other federal officials were working on the ground to aid response efforts in Puerto Rico.
“We are all in this together,” the president said, expressing concern that many homes and businesses still had no electricity, as well as clean drinking water.
Biden also noted that Fiona’s devastation came exactly five years after Hurricane MariaThe deadliest US natural disaster in more than 100 years affects Puerto Rico.
“To the people of Puerto Rico who are still suffering from Hurricane Maria five years later,” he said, “we are with you. We are not going away. We mean it.”