Eastern Canada hit hard by Fiona – The Washington Post

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TORONTO — A day after Fiona wreaked havoc across eastern Canada, the scale of the destruction is beginning to be felt.

The storm – one of the strongest to ever hit Canada – battered coastal towns on Saturday morning, sweep the houses and rooftops, uprooting trees, flooding roads, downing power lines and clogging streets with debris. Two people were dragged into the ocean, police said, one of whom remains missing; the other was rescued.

Meanwhile, at a news conference on Sunday, officials in Prince Edward Island reported at least one storm-related death. A preliminary investigation indicated generator problems as the potential cause.

Hurricane-force winds, which peaked at around 100 mph in some areas, left more than 500,000 Canadian homes without power, with hundreds of thousands still without power.

Fiona, then a hurricane-force post-tropical cyclone, caused damage in parts of Canada on September 24. (Video: The Washington Post)

In the hardest hit regions, outages could last several days. The storm hit Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Quebec and New Brunswick.

“There will likely be multi-day outages for many of our customers, but we will continue to work as hard as possible to ensure we restore power safely,” said Peter Gregg, President and CEO. of Nova Scotia Power. said in the video briefing Saturday night.

In Port aux Basques, a small town on the southwest tip of Newfoundland with a population of around 4,000, the damage was devastating.

“We have over 200 residents who have been evacuated from their homes,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokeswoman Jolene Garland said in a telephone interview with The Washington Post on Sunday.

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More than 200 homes were damaged, she added, and 20 were destroyed or swept into the ocean by the powerful storm.

Police have launched a missing person investigation, after a woman went missing when her house was hit by a large wave. The search was initially stalled on Saturday due to security concerns, Garland said, but a rescue effort is now underway.

Terry Osmond, who has lived in Port aux Basques all his life, said he had “never seen anything like it”.

As the full picture became clearer on Sunday morning, things in his hometown “are not looking good,” Osmond, 62, said. With such wreckage, he said: “I don’t know how they’re going to start the cleanup.

Residents search the rubble for items swept away by the storm, while emergency crews clear debris and block off dangerous areas.

“The magnitude of this storm and what has happened in our community is very, very significant,” Port aux Basques Mayor Brian Button said during a Facebook live briefing, adding that the sewage system has been compromised in some areas and access to water is limited. . “It could take months.”

Recovery efforts have begun in Eastern Canada, and military personnel have been deployed to assist in damage assessment, cleanup and restoration of transportation.

Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico as a Category 1 storm. Flooding again wreaked havoc.

“Our government stands ready to support the provinces with all necessary resources,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. in a press conference, during which he announced that the federal government will match all Canadian Red Cross donations made over the next 30 days. Trudeau canceled a trip to Japan due to the storm.

“The focus now is really on assessing the damage and providing assistance,” said Dan Bedell, director of communications for the Red Cross, covering the Atlantic region.

About 175 displaced people in Nova Scotia spent the night in Red Cross shelters, according to Bedell.

“There are a number of places where houses and apartment buildings have suffered damage that is significant enough that people cannot safely stay there,” he said.

“It’s a storm that impacted five provinces, which is pretty substantial,” Bedell said, adding that eastern Quebec was also heavily impacted. “We don’t know what the needs are yet, but we know there will be a lot of needs.”

Cape Breton, one of the hardest hit regions in Nova Scotia, is in shock.

“We all see the consequences. It’s devastating,” said Cape Breton resident Shayna Strong. A large tree collapsed on his house around 5am on Saturday, and “we lost all our fences”.

As the storm unfolded, “everything creaked and howled, and air blew through the house,” she recalls. “Things were seeping in, because the wind was so strong.”

Luckily, “the sun is shining today,” Strong said.

Fiona – which is the lowest pressure land storm on record in Canada, according to the Canadian Hurricane Center – had weakened significantly on Sunday and was moving north at 21 mph. All warnings associated with the storm have been lifted.

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