Sun, 10 Dec 2023

Cyclone Fiona washes houses away, knocks out power in Canada

Robert Besser
25 Sep 2022, 15:44 GMT+10

HALIFAX, Canada: Cyclone Fiona struck northeast Canada this weekend, with reports of houses being washed into the ocean, roofs torn off others, and power lost to the majority of residents of two provinces.

Winds of 80 mph (130 kph) ripped through the provinces at the height of the storm, according to the U.S. hurricane center.

More than 415,000 Nova Scotia Power customers - about 80% in the province - reported power outages during the weekend.

Further, more than 82,000 customers in the province of Prince Edward Island, nearly the entire province, were also without power.

Fiona rolled through the Canadian provinces with enormous winds, rains and giant waves offshore.

In the town of Channel-Port Aux Basques on the southern coast of Newfoundland, buildings were reported to have been washed into the sea. The town's mayor, Brian Button, reported that people had earlier been evacuated to high ground.

"We've already had houses that are washed away," he said, as reported by the Associated Press.

"I'm seeing homes in the ocean. I'm seeing rubble floating all over the place. It's complete and utter destruction. There's an apartment that is gone, that is literally just rubble," said Rene J. Roy, a resident of Channel-Port Aux Basques and chief editor at Wreckhouse Press, according to the Associated Press.

Roy said that eight to 12 houses and buildings were washed into the sea.

"It's quite terrifying. I'm seeing coastal erosion. I see a house dangling out in the middle of air," Roy said.

Jolene Garland, a spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Newfoundland and Labrador, said a woman who had been "tossed into the water as her home collapsed" in the Channel-Port Aux Basques area has been rescued.

However, weather conditions have prevented a search for another person reported in the waters.

Garland said extreme weather conditions in southern Newfoundland included "high winds, high waves, flooding and electrical fires." Also, numerous buildings were destroyed by high seas, she said.

As the Canadian Hurricane Center tweeted earlier, Fiona registered the lowest pressure ever recorded for a storm making landfall in Canada and might have been one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the country.

"There are homes that have been significantly damaged due to downed trees, big old trees falling down and causing significant damage. We're also seeing houses with their roofs completely torn off, windows breaking in. There is a huge amount of debris in the roadways," Amanda McDougall, mayor of Cape Breton Regional Municipality, told The Associated Press

"There is a lot of damage to belongings and structures, but no injuries to people as of this point. Again, we're still in the midst of this," she said. "It's still terrifying. I'm just sitting here in my living room and it feels like the patio doors are going to break in with those big gusts."

McDougall noted that a shelter that had opened the night before was full.

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