Hurricane Fiona hits Canada’s east coast; Thousands without power

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HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Powerful storm Fiona slammed into eastern Canada on Saturday with hurricane-force winds, downing trees and power lines and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded the center of the storm to post-tropical storm Fiona, now in the Gulf of St. Lawrence after racing through Nova Scotia. Downed trees and power lines were reported in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

“She had a wild ride last night and it was like the whole roof was going to blow off,” said Gary Hatcher, a retiree who lives in Sidney, Nova Scotia, near where the storm made landfall. A banyan tree fell in his yard, but his house was not damaged.

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Fiona, which hit Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean nearly a week ago, made landfall between Cancho and Guysborough, Nova Scotia, where the Canadian Hurricane Center said. History of the country.

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

Utility companies said 79% of customers, or 414,000 people, were without power in Nova Scotia, and 95%, or 82,000 people, lost power in Prince Edward Island. The area also enjoys spotty mobile phone service. Police announced several road closures across the region.

Trudeau delays Japan trip

The storm weakened slightly as it moved north. As of 8 a.m. (1200 GMT), it was about 200 miles (340 km) northeast of Halifax in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 km) and a barrel of about 23 mph (37) to the north. kph), the NHC said.

Experts are predicting high winds, storm surges and heavy rainfall from Fiona. The storm is forecast to gradually weaken, but hurricane-force winds are expected by Saturday afternoon, the NHC said.

Dubbed a hurricane after it hit the Caribbean earlier in the week, Fiona killed at least eight people and knocked out power to all of Puerto Rico’s 3.3 million people during a heat wave. Five days later nearly a million people were without power.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delayed his departure for Japan to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

A hurricane warning is in effect for parts of central Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, home to more than 150,000 people, the Miami-based NHC said.

Canadian authorities have issued emergency warnings for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, warning of severe flooding along coastlines and extremely dangerous waves. People in coastal areas have been advised to evacuate.

Canadian Hurricane Center meteorologist Bob Robichaud said at a briefing Friday that the storm will be more ferocious than Hurricane Juan in 2003 and Hurricane Dorian in 2019.

The country’s two largest carriers, Air Canada and WestJet Airlines, have suspended regional service since Friday evening.

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Reporting Eric Martin in Halifax and John Morris in Stephenville; Additional reporting by Steve Scherer and Daniel Trotta by Iveliz Rivera in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Juby Babu in Bangalore, Ismail Shakil and Steve Scherer in Ottawa; Editing by Jane Merriman, Frances Kerry, and Bill Bergrod

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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