Storm Fiona hammers Canada’s east coast; thousands without power

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia: Powerful storm Fiona slammed into eastern Canada on Saturday (Sep 24) with hurricane-force winds, blowing over trees and powerlines and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without electricity.

The US National Hurricane Center said the center of the storm, now called Post-Tropical Cyclone Fiona, was now in the Gulf of St Lawrence after racing through Nova Scotia. Reports of downed trees and power lines were widespread in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

“She was a wild ride last night, sounded like the whole roof was going to blow off,” said Gary Hatcher, a retiree who lives in Sydney, Nova Scotia, near where the storm made landfall. A maple tree was toppled in his back yard but did no damage to his house.

Fiona, which nearly a week ago devastated parts of the Caribbean, made landfall between Canso and Guysborough, Nova Scotia, where the Canadian Hurricane Centre said it recorded what could have been the storm with the lowest barometric pressure to hit land in the country’s history.

“We were up all night,” said Dave DeBlois of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, who said there was no major damage to his home. “Was a bit scary at times,” he said. “You could feel the house sway.”

Some 79 per cent of customers, or 414,000, were without power in Nova Scotia, and 95 per cent, or 82,000, had lost power on Prince Edward Island, utility companies said.

The region was also seeing spotty mobile phone service. Police across the region reported multiple road closures.