Officials in Canada’s Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are urging people in the storm’s path to be on high alert and prepare for the storm, which has already killed at least five people and left millions without power this week. It hit several Caribbean islands.
“Air Force Hurricane Hunters are investigating the major tornado and have determined it is powerful and very large,” the center said in an update Friday morning.
Damaging winds, high tides, coastal storm surge and heavy rainfall could lead to prolonged power outages, Loehr said. Emergency officials have encouraged people to protect outdoor items, cut down trees, charge cell phones and create a 72-hour emergency kit.
According to Chris Fogarty, manager of the Canadian Hurricane Center, the region hasn’t seen a storm in about 50 years.
“Please take this seriously because we see weather numbers on our weather maps that are rare here,” Fogarty said.
Utility company Nova Scotia Power activated an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Friday morning, which will serve as a central coordination area for outage restoration and response, according to a news release.
The agency will work closely with the Nova Scotia Office of Emergency Management.
“We are taking all precautions and are prepared to respond to Hurricane Fiona as safely and efficiently as possible,” Nova Scotia Power’s storm lead coordinator Sean Borden said in the release.
“After Fiona passes Bermuda, the storm is forecast to hit Nova Scotia on Saturday afternoon. Fiona will become tropical before impact, but this will not stop Fiona from causing damage,” explained CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford.
Across Atlantic Canada, Shackelford said Fiona could have sustained winds of 100 mph (160 kph) as it makes landfall in Nova Scotia.
In Canada, hurricane warnings are in place for Nova Scotia from Hubbards to Brule and from Parsons Pond to Francois to Newfoundland. Prince Edward Island and Île-de-la-Madeleine are also on alert.
Prince Edward Island officials are urging residents to prepare for the worst as the storm rolls through.
Tanya Mullally, who serves as the province’s emergency management chief, said one of Fiona’s biggest concerns is the historic storm surge it is expected to unleash.
He said the north side of the island will bear the brunt of the storm due to the wind direction, which could cause property damage and coastal flooding.
All provincial campgrounds, beaches and day-use parks and the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park will close at noon Friday, according to the Nova Scotia Office of Emergency Management.
“Safety is our priority as we prepare for significant storm conditions Friday night and Saturday. We are closing provincial park properties for the storm and will reopen when it is safe,” Natural Resources and Renewables Minister Tory Rushton said in a statement announcing the closures.
Fiona’s power outage continues
Earlier this week, Fiona damaged homes and downed critical power and water infrastructure for millions of people across Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos.
According to the National Weather Service, Thursday afternoon temperatures reached 112 degrees, causing widespread power outages as much of Puerto Rico endures intense heat.
Daniel Hernandez, director of renewable projects at LUMA, explained that critical locations, including hospitals, will be prioritized before individual repairs.
“This is a normal process. It’s important for everyone to remain calm… We are working to ensure that 100% of customers have service as soon as possible,” Hernandez said.
As of Wednesday, more than 800 people were housed in dozens of shelters across the island, according to Puerto Rico’s Housing Secretary William Rodriguez.
President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for the U.S. region, FEMA said. The measure allows residents to access grants for temporary housing and home repairs and provides low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses.
In the Dominican Republic, Fiona affected 8,708 homes and destroyed 2,262, according to Major General Juan Mendez García, the head of the country’s emergency operations.
More than 210,000 homes and businesses were still in the dark Thursday morning, and 725,246 customers were without water, he said.
Ramona Santana in Higay, Dominican Republic, told CNN en Español this week: “It’s something unbelievable that we’ve never seen before. “We’re on the street with nothing, no food, no shoes, no clothes, what’s on your back. … We have nothing, we have God, and hope that help will come.”
Fiona threatened parts of the Turks and Caicos on Tuesday, and earlier this week parts of the British territory, including Grand Turk, South Caicos, Salt Cay, North Caicos and Middle Caicos, were without power, Anya Williams said. Islands.
CNN’s Alison Sinzar, Melissa Alonso, Ana Melgar Zunica and Amanda Musa contributed to this report.
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