Fiona Could Be Strongest Storm Ever to Hit Canada



Canada’s Atlantic provinces are bracing for Hurricane Fiona, which some forecasters say could be the strongest storm ever to hit the region. Chris Fogarty at the Canadian Hurricane Center says the storm could be the country’s equivalent of 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, CNN reports. “We are seeing meteorological numbers in our weather maps that are rarely seen here,” says Fogarty, who warns that the size and intensity of the storm could make it extremely damaging. Environment Canada forecasts that Fiona will make landfall in Nova Scotia Saturday morning before hitting Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. Bob Robichaud at the hurricane center said models show “all-time” low pressure arriving. “It’s going to be a storm that everyone remembers when it is all said and done,” he said.

“This storm will be a severe event for Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec,” the hurricane center said in an update early Friday. Forecasters said models show a “deep hybrid low pressure system, possessing both tropical and intense winter storm properties, with very heavy rainfall and severe winds.” In Halifax—the capital of Nova Scotia and the biggest city in the Maritimes region—authorities warned that people should take precautions and stay away from the shoreline before strong winds and heavy rains arrive Friday night. “This storm is going to hit us, folks, and it’s going to hit us in the face,” said Mayor Mike Savage, per the Chronicle Herald. “So we have to be ready.”

People across the region should be “prepared for downed trees, extended power outages, and local flood conditions,” Savage said. Forecasters say the storm’s duration will make it especially damaging, with winds over 60mph expected to last for 12 hours or more in some areas of the eastern Maritimes. “Rainfall amounts will be staggering,” CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin said early Friday. “Storm surge is also going to be a huge issue and you can bet that Fiona is going to change the look of the coastline.” The storm, which caused severe damage in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands, swept past Bermuda as a Category 3 hurricane early Friday, the AP reports. (Read more Hurricane Fiona stories.)

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