Hurricane Fiona - live: ‘Very powerful’ storm hits Nova Scotia after killing eight people in Puerto Rico

·17-min read
Hurricane Fiona - live: ‘Very powerful’ storm hits Nova Scotia after killing eight people in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Fiona has hit Nova Scotia, Canada, after devastating Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic this week.

Earlier, it was warned that Nova Scotia is forecasted to take a direct hit with warnings of severe flooding and power outages.

Because of the size of the storm, dangerous weather was also predicted for parts of Newfoundland, Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre has warned that this could be a “historic storm”. One meteorologist with the agency told CNN that Hurricane Fiona could rival 2012’s Superstorm Sandy which devastated the US east coast.

Hurricane Fiona left hundreds of thousands of people without running water or electricity in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

It also reportedly left up to eight people dead in Puerto Rico.

The climate crisis is driving hotter global ocean and air temperatures which supercharge hurricanes with more intense winds and rain.

Key Points

  • Nova Scotia residents share clips of hurricane Fiona

  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s warning for residents

  • 40-foot waves expected

  • Hurricanes are getting stronger. Blame the climate crisis

  • Hurricane-chasing drone records 50ft waves

Nova Scotia government reveals list of comfort centres and shelters

09:30 , Peony Hirwani

The Nova Scotia Government’s Emergency Management Office has revealed the list of comfort centres and shelters in different municipalities.

The information can be found here.

Government issues rainfall warnings in Eastern Canada

09:00 , Peony Hirwani

The government of Canada says that rainfall will continue today, with up to 120mm already reported at weather stations over eastern Nova Scotia.

The highest rainfall amounts are likely for eastern Nova Scotia, southwestern Newfoundland, and the Gulf of St Lawrence region.

Forecast guidance is suggesting widespread amounts of 100 to 200 mm, but closer to the path of Hurricane Fiona, more than 200 mm is likely.

08:53 , Peony Hirwani

The Canadian Hurricane Centre has confirmed that Fiona has made landfall as a post-tropical storm in eastern Nova Scotia.

Maximum sustained winds are estimated at 80 knots (148 km/h) and central pressure at 933 MB.

Canadian resident shows image of a tree fallen on her house

08:47 , Peony Hirwani

“Heard a huge thud and saw this barely outside my living room window, too hard to see but 50/50 chance a tree came down onto my house,” one person wrote. “Stay safe everyone!”

What should Eastern Canadians expect in the next few days?

08:30 , Peony Hirwani

A strong category-1 Hurricane Fiona is making its way to Eastern Canada.

Winds 100 are gusting to 140 km/h at exposed locations except 140 gusting to 160 km/h at the coast with surges of 1.8 to 2.4 m and dangerous waves from 11 to 15 m.

Throughout the region, local wind warnings have been issued with additional details and effects.

“These winds could cause significant treefall and result in extended utility outages,” the warnings state. “Damage to building cladding and roofing material is likely, including structural damage in certain cases.

“Winds of this strength could cause windows to break and tear off large overhead highway signs. This will result in damage to docks and breakwaters. Significant shoreline erosion and large waves are expected where winds blow onshore.”

This storm has become a severe event for Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec

08:03 , Peony Hirwani

According to the Canadian government, Fiona is expected to make landfall over eastern Guysborough county in the next hour.

The hurricane is then expected to pass through Cape Breton this morning, and then reach the Quebec Lower North Shore and Southeastern Labrador by late tonight.

Severe winds and rainfall are already occurring over Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, southern and eastern New Brunswick, and western Newfoundland.

Winds will spread into eastern Quebec, and southeastern Labrador this morning.

There are also large waves, especially for the Atlantic coasts of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and eastern portions of the Gulf of St Lawrence.

There is storm surge occurring for parts of Nova Scotia, the Gulf of St Lawrence and western Newfoundland.

08:01 , Graeme Massie

A photo taken by a US Air Force plane of Hurricane Fiona as it investigated the storm near Bermuda on Thursday (US ARMY/AFP via Getty Images)
A photo taken by a US Air Force plane of Hurricane Fiona as it investigated the storm near Bermuda on Thursday (US ARMY/AFP via Getty Images)

Meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal shares footage of ruptured trees in Charlottetown

07:47 , Peony Hirwani

Meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal has shared footage of ruptured trees in downtown Charlottetown as wind blows at “131 km/hr”.

Nova Scotia government’s guide to prepare for Hurricane Fiona

07:30 , Peony Hirwani

The provincial Emergency Management Office (NSEMO) of Nova Scotia has asked the residents to “minimise the risk of property damage and personal injury by being prepared for potentially severe weather this weekend.”

The basic checklist includes:

  • having enough food and water for 72 hours

  • monitoring local media outlets for updates

  • securing gates, doors and windows

  • moving yard furniture and securing trash cans, hanging plants and anything that can be picked up by wind

  • checking radio batteries

  • filling vehicles with gas and parking them away from trees

  • keeping pets inside

  • moving any type of watercraft to high ground

  • ensuring personal and family safety

  • checking on neighbours

  • not leaving candles unattended

Senator Brian Francis of Prince Edward Island sends well wishes to residents of Atlantic Canada

06:52 , Peony Hirwani

Mi’kmaq leader and senator of Prince Edward Island Brian Francis has sent his well wishes to residents of Atlantic Canada.

On Friday (23 September), he wrote on Twitter: “My thoughts tonight are with Islanders and residents of Atlantic Canada/Eastern Quebec.

“With no signs of slowing down, #HurricaneFiona is expected to cause dangerous conditions and significant damage. Please stay safe and informed! & check on vulnerable relatives and neighbours!”

Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s warning for residents

06:36 , Peony Hirwani

As Hurricane Fiona hits Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has urged citizens “to be mindful of the dangers” that the storm may present.

“As the storm approaches, it is important to remember that extreme weather will result in hazardous conditions, decreased visibility and possible hydro-planning on our roads and highways,” the RCMP website states. “Drivers may also encounter wind-blown debris on the road and sudden flooding which can be dangerous for motorists and detrimental to highway conditions.

“The RCMP encourage the public to keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles and refrain from unnecessary travel until after the storm has passed and clean-up efforts are complete.

“If you must travel, allow for additional travel time, let someone know your destination, slow down, watch for pooling water and use your hazard signals if you must stop along the way.”

The police is also encouraging the residents to maintain a “safe viewing distance along beaches and shorelines” as storm-driven waves and tides can cause unpredictable and deadly conditions, as anyone close to the coast could be swept into the ocean.

Residents share footage from Halifax as trees fall on roads

06:16 , Peony Hirwani

Nova Scotia residents continue to share footage of hurricane Fiona with clips showing trees falling on roads.

‘Surge is now coming in fast’: Storm hunter Mark Robinson shares latest update from Louisbourg

06:09 , Peony Hirwani

Mark Robinson says that the “waves are overtopping the docks” in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia as hurricane Fiona hits the province.

Storm hunter Mark Robinson shares hurricane Fiona update from the docks in Louisbourg

05:47 , Peony Hirwani

Storm hunter Mark Robinson is sharing live updates of “extreme wind and waves” caused by hurricane Fiona from the docks in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia.

“Situation is rapidly deteriorating on the docks in Louisbourg,” he says in his video. “You can see behind me that the winds are ticking up the ocean and just flinging it up and over.

“I’m tasting salt water. I’m smelling the ocean.

“As we get closer to the centre of the storm, this [place] is likely going to be underwater.”

Puerto Rico is without power more than five days after Hurricane Fiona struck

05:45 , Peony Hirwani

Half of Puerto Rico is experiencing a power cut more than five days after Hurricane Fiona struck, including an entire town where not a single work crew has arrived.

Many residents of the US territory are angry and incredulous, and calls are growing for the ouster of the island’s private electricity transmission and distribution company.

They’re questioning why it is taking so long to restore power since Fiona was a Category 1 storm that did not affect the entire island, and whose rain - not wind - inflicted the greatest damage.

Thousands of Nova Scotia residents lost power amid high winds and rain as Hurricane Fiona hit the province

05:39 , Peony Hirwani

By 11.59pm yesterday, there were more than 153,000 customers without power, according to the utility company’s online outage map.

Many of those outages were because of high winds and rain, according to the map. It said the power could be back on by Saturday (24 September) for some, while others may need to wait until Wednesday (28 September).

ICYMI: Canada’s ‘Sandy’

05:04 , Graeme Massie

A meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Centre told CNN that Fiona could be a Canadian equivalent to Hurricane Sandy, which smashed into New York and New Jersey in 2012.

Fiona, much like Sandy, is a very large storm, spanning hundreds of miles wide. The storm is also forecast to change into a post-tropical windstorm, much like Sandy, Axios reports.

Nova Scotia residents share clips of hurricane Fiona

04:57 , Peony Hirwani

Social media users have started posting clips of hurricane Fiona from their homes in Nova Scotia.

In many clips, winds and rain can be seen gushing through the streets as the storm hits the province.

Storm chaser Josh Morgerman issues update about hurricane as Fiona hits Nova Scotia

04:47 , Peony Hirwani

TV personality and professional storm chaser Josh Morgerman has issued an update about hurricane Fiona as it hit Nova Scotia.

“[It’s] 12:25am in Glace Bay and not a drop of rain but the wind is ripping pretty good. It is a good stiff wind.

“You have moments where you get that crazy hurricane howl.”

ICYMI: Trudeau urges residents to prepare

04:06 , Graeme Massie

ICYMI: Fiona churns up massive waves in the Atlantic near Bermuda

03:03 , Graeme Massie

JetBlue flight flew directly over Hurricane Fiona

02:14 , Ethan Freedman

A flight between Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and Newark, New Jersey flew over Hurricane Fiona on Monday night

This JetBlue flight flew directly over Hurricane Fiona

Bridge closes

01:55 , Ethan Freedman

The MacKay Bridge, which runs between Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia is closing as the province prepares for Hurricane Fiona

Mariners secure their boats before the storm

01:35 , Ethan Freedman

Rick Ellerbrook checks on the lines holding his sailboat in Sydney, Nova Scotia in preparation for Hurricane Fiona (AP)
Rick Ellerbrook checks on the lines holding his sailboat in Sydney, Nova Scotia in preparation for Hurricane Fiona (AP)
Jeffrey Mosher ties down his boat in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The storm is expected to bring massive swells and hurricane-force winds to the province (REUTERS)
Jeffrey Mosher ties down his boat in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The storm is expected to bring massive swells and hurricane-force winds to the province (REUTERS)

Hurricane season finally heats up

01:15 , Ethan Freedman

The 2022 hurricane season in the Atlantic got off to a slow start, with just three named storms forming by the end of August.

But September has brought wave after wave of activity, including Fiona, the most powerful storm of the season.

Currently, there are four tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had forecast an “above-normal” season, with up to 20 named storms.

Radar shows Fiona approaching

Saturday 24 September 2022 00:56 , Ethan Freedman

Halifax hunkers down for the storm

Saturday 24 September 2022 00:36 , Ethan Freedman

Francis Bruhm places sandbags around the Nova Scotia Power Building in Halifax on Friday in preparation for Hurricane Fiona (REUTERS)
Francis Bruhm places sandbags around the Nova Scotia Power Building in Halifax on Friday in preparation for Hurricane Fiona (REUTERS)

Prime Minister Trudeau speaks on impending Hurricane Fiona

Saturday 24 September 2022 00:17 , Ethan Freedman

Hurricane-chasing drone records 50ft waves

Friday 23 September 2022 23:57 , Ethan Freedman

An unmanned, hurricane-chasing drone has captured footage of nearly 50 feet waves at the centre of Hurricane Fiona.“Saildrone 1078” recorded the enormous waves and wind speeds over 100 mph off Bermuda on Thursday in the midst of the first Category 4 hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic season.SD 1078 is one of seven “hurricane” saildrones operating in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico this hurricane season, gathering data to better understand the physical processes of hurricanes. The aim is to improve forecasting and reduce loss of life during the extreme weather events.“Hurricane Fiona intensified from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane just before hitting Puerto Rico, causing significant damage and loss of life,” said Richard Jenkins, Saildrone founder and CEO, in a statement.“The data Saildrone vehicles are gathering will help the science community better understand rapid intensification, giving people living in our coastal communities more time to prepare.”

Hurricane-chasing drone captures Fiona’s 50ft waves

Likely Tropical Storm Ian

Friday 23 September 2022 23:37 , Ethan Freedman

Tropical Depression Nine, which formed in the Caribbean this morning, is likely to become a tropical storm in the next couple of days – and a hurricane after that.

The storm is likely to bring heavy rain and winds to Cuba, Jamaica and Cayman Islands before heading up to the US.

Forecasts at this point are still far out and could change, but the National Hurricane Centre predicts that it could be a Category 3 storm by the time it reaches Florida’s Gulf Coast, which would be the first major hurricane of the year to hit the continental US.

Grocery stores see empty shelves

Friday 23 September 2022 23:17 , Ethan Freedman

Grocery store shelves are empty in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Friday as people prepare for Hurricane Fiona to hit the region (AP)
Grocery store shelves are empty in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Friday as people prepare for Hurricane Fiona to hit the region (AP)

Flooding could be ‘significant'

Friday 23 September 2022 22:57 , Ethan Freedman

The latest update from the US National Hurricane Centre warns that some areas of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland may see up to 10 inches (25 centimetres) of rain, which could create “significant” flooding.

Some areas in Labrador and Quebec will see up to five inches (13 cm), while New Brunswick will see up to three (eight cm).

40-foot waves expected as the storm hits Canada

Friday 23 September 2022 22:37 , Ethan Freedman

The Canadian Hurricane Centre has warned that waves up to 40 feet (12 metres) could swell as Hurricane Fiona reaches land tonight.

The swells will create extremely dangerous conditions for boats, and potentially lead to erosion and flooding along the coasts.

Tropical Storm Hermine has formed

Friday 23 September 2022 22:05 , Ethan Freedman

Tropical Storm Hermine has formed off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal, the eighth named storm of the season.

The storm is expected to hit some islands in the next few days before weakening but otherwise does not pose a major threat to land.

Another tropical depression in the Caribbean will likely be named “Ian”

Nova Scotia Premier urgest residents to prepare

Friday 23 September 2022 21:25 , Ethan Freedman

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston put out a video on Twitter asking residents to get ready for the storm, including monitoring weather forecasts, making sure they have enough food and securing down their homes.

Friday 23 September 2022 20:22 , Ethan Freedman

A number of events and public services have been cancelled in Atlantic Canada as a result of the storm.

Global News reports that bus and ferry service has been shut down in Halifax and flights are being cancelled in much of the region.

Universities are closing through the weekend as is a Halifax shopping mall. The Halifax Oyster Festival, along with a number of youth league hockey games, have been postponed.

Tropical Depressions pose new threat

Friday 23 September 2022 18:52 , Ethan Freedman

While Fiona is heading north, two other tropical depressions have formed in the Atlantic and are likely to become tropical storms within the next day or so.

One is in the Caribbean and another is near Senegal. Whichever reaches tropical storm status first – meaning winds 39 miles per hour (63 kilometres per hour) or greater – will become Tropical Storm Hermine, and the other would be Tropical Storm Ian

“All preparartions should be complete by this evening"

Friday 23 September 2022 18:20 , Ethan Freedman

An update on Hurricane Fiona from the Canadian government urged residents in affected areas to be prepared by this evening, as heavy rains and wind will start to hit soon, reaching full intensity overnight and into Saturday morning

Friday 23 September 2022 18:02 , Ethan Freedman

Satellite imagery shows all four tropical cyclones currently brewing in the Atlantic Basin – Fiona in the northwest, Tropical Storm Gaston in the eastern Atlantic, Tropical Depression Nine in the Caribbean and Tropical Depression Ten off the coast of Senegal

Friday 23 September 2022 17:47 , Ethan Freedman

The storm is currently off the coast of Maryland but headed north quickly.

The storm is also very wide, and rainfall has already begun in Nova Scotia.

Friday 23 September 2022 17:32 , Ethan Freedman

The Canadian Hurricane Centre has issued hurricane warnings for much of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland

Fiona, now a Category 4 hurricane, is projected to weaken somewhat by the time it reaches land, but will still bring dangerous weather to the Canadian Atlantic Coast

Canada prepares for ‘strongest-ever’ storm

Friday 23 September 2022 17:28 , Ethan Freedman

Hurricane Fiona: Canada prepares for ‘strongest-ever’ storm