Hurricane Fiona moved into Bermuda on Thursday after leaving a devastating path of destruction in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, authorities said.
The category 4 storm, moving north, was expected to deliver a blow to the western edge of Bermuda on Thursday evening or Friday morning.
UK territory was expected to receive between 2 and 4 inches of rain and wind gusts of up to 75 mph. The heaviest rain in Bermuda is expected to fall between 2 a.m. and 10 a.m.
“As Hurricane Fiona approaches Category 4 on Friday, I encourage everyone to properly prepare for this storm,” Bermuda Premier David Burt said. said in a statement Thursday. “Remember to check in and watch your elders, family and neighbors. Stay safe.”
After passing Bermuda, Fiona will target the Atlantic edges of Canada and will likely make landfall near eastern Nova Scotia on Saturday morning.
Fiona could become a Category 2 storm or an extratropical cyclone, but there is still the threat of significant damage in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.
The system could reach Quebec and southeastern Labrador early Sunday. Precipitation in Atlantic Canada will range from 3 to 10 inches bringing a threat of flooding.
“It will be a very big storm when it makes landfall,” said Bob Robichaud, emergency preparedness meteorologist for Environment Canada. “It’s going to cover quite a wide area.”
The damage already left by Fiona could take weeks, months or even years to repair.
At least 8,708 homes in the Dominican Republic have been damaged or destroyed, while some 210,433 people live without electricity and at least 725,246 have no water service, according to the Emergency Operations Center.
Much of Puerto Rico was still without power on Thursday as temperatures approached 100 degrees, triggering an excessive heat warning.
With no electricity and downed trees on the roads, even reaching the most storm-damaged areas of the island remained difficult.
President Joe Biden said Thursday he was committing to “100% federal funding for debris removal, search and rescue, power and water restoration, shelter and food for the whole month” in Puerto Rico.
“We will be with the people of Puerto Rico…until this is done, until we recover,” Biden told reporters in New York, following a meeting with Governor Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and – via video conference – Puerto Rican Governor Pedro Pierluisi.
The Associated Press contributed.