Fiona ‘very powerful’ forecast to bring strong winds and heavy rain to Atlantic Canada

Hurricane Fiona is poised to become a “very powerful” post-tropical storm when it makes landfall in eastern Nova Scotia this weekend, forecasters said Friday.

The storm, characterized as “historic” in its scope by forecasters, is expected to bring gale-force winds and more than 100 millimeters of rain across much of Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec. Closer to Fiona’s path, more than 200 millimeters of rain is expected to fall, which could cause some roads to wash out.

In its latest update, the Canadian Hurricane Center said the storm is moving north and is expected to reach waters off Nova Scotia late Friday night before moving over Cape Breton early Saturday. Fiona is expected to reach the lower north coast of Quebec and southeastern Labrador early Sunday.

“Numerous weather models continue to indicate that Fiona will become a very powerful post-tropical storm,” the hurricane center said.

Strong winds and rain are expected to produce “significant impacts” in eastern Prince Edward Island, eastern Nova Scotia, southern and eastern New Brunswick, western Newfoundland, eastern Quebec and the southeastern Labrador.

Coastal areas of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland are expected to experience strong waves, with Nova Scotia waves expected to grow to over 10 meters, while wave heights could be over 12 meters in the eastern parts of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

In addition to significant storm surge, the potential for flooding in coastal and inland areas, and “historic” low pressure across the region, the storm is expected to cause widespread power outages due to downed trees and power poles. winds.

On Thursday, Environment Canada meteorologist Bob Robichaud said it remains to be seen if Fiona’s wind gusts will set records, but gusts are expected to be stronger in some areas than the 150kph winds felt. when post-tropical storm Dorian made landfall. in 2019.

Nova Scotia Power has said that around 800 utility workers have been stationed at locations across the province in anticipation of outages and damage to power poles.

Amanda McDougall, mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said Thursday that officials were preparing a shelter in the Sydney, NS area for people to enter before the storm hits. She said emergency planners are concerned that some types of older housing may not be able to withstand the force of the winds.

The Nova Scotia Building Association also urged its members to shore up construction sites and construction cranes ahead of the storm, warning that buildings under construction would be particularly vulnerable.

“Aware that construction sites and tower cranes in the province carry additional risk during these events, we urge you to be diligent in adhering to all safety precautions,” the association said on its website.

During Dorian, strong winds toppled a 240-foot-tall construction crane in downtown Halifax. No one was injured, but the crane caused damage to a 13-story building that was under construction.

Fiona hit Bermuda with heavy rain and strong winds early Friday as it swept across the island as a Category 3 hurricane.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 23, 2022.

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