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Canada bracing for Hurricane Fiona

Hurricane Fiona is pounding the Atlantic island of Bermuda with heavy rain and winds as it tracks northward toward eastern Canada, where it threatens to become one of the most severe storms in Canadian history.

September 24, 2022
By Don Burgess and Eric Martyn
24 September 2022

Hurricane Fiona is pounding the Atlantic island of Bermuda with heavy rain and winds as it tracks northward toward eastern Canada, where it threatens to become one of the most severe storms in Canadian history.

Fiona had already battered a series of Caribbean islands earlier in the week, killing at least eight people and knocking out power for virtually all of Puerto Rico’s 3.3 million people during a sweltering heat wave. Nearly one million customers remained without power five days later.

The storm approached Bermuda as a Category 4 hurricane but diminished a notch to Category 3 as it passed west of the British territory early on Friday. Still, gusts reached as high as 166km/h, the Bermuda Weather Service said in a bulletin.

Many Bermuda homes are built with small shuttered windows, slate roofs and limestone blocks to withstand frequent hurricanes.

By Friday afternoon, Hurricane Fiona was about 770km south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s eastern coast, moving north at 55km/h with maximum sustained winds of 215km/h, the US National Hurricane Center said.

The storm was upgraded back to a Category 4 hurricane on Friday, meaning it was capable of causing catastrophic damage.

Though it may weaken as it travels north over cooler water, Fiona is still forecast to be a powerful hurricane-force cyclone when it moves across Atlantic Canada, the hurricane centre said.

A hurricane warning was in effect for most of central and eastern Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, provinces on the east coast of Canada.

The centre of the storm was forecast to approach Nova Scotia later on Friday, move across the province and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Saturday, and cross over Labrador on Sunday.

Forecasters say areas close to its path could get up to 20cm of rain, while winds could damage buildings and cause utility outages, with storm surges swamping the coastlines. 

Fiona already displayed its devastating strength in the Caribbean, killing at least four people in Puerto Rico, the US Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

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