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Knock out power as Storm Fiona hits eastern Canada

Powerful storm Fiona, which was downgraded from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone, lashed into eastern Canada on Saturday, cutting power supply to thousands and washing houses into the sea as it pummeled the area with fierce winds and rains “like nothing we’ve ever seen”, police say.

Two women were swept into the ocean in Newfoundland, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported. One was rescued, but the other is still missing.

A downed tree lays accross Oxford Street following the passing of Hurricane Fiona.
As of midday, some 500,000 homes were left without power across the region as the storm pummeled a wide area, felling countless trees and ripping roofs from buildings [Ingrid Bulmer/Reuters]

Mayor Brian Button of Channel-Port aux Basques, at the southwestern tip of Newfoundland, told CBC News that the scene there was one of “total devastation”, adding, “this has become bigger and worse than we had imagined”.

Rene Roy, a newspaper editor in Channel-Port aux Basques, said, “These are the strongest winds anyone in the community has ever seen. Several houses have been washed into the sea.”

As of midday, some 500,000 homes were left without power across the region as the storm pummeled a wide area, felling countless trees and ripping roofs from buildings.

“The power lines are down everywhere,” Erica Fleck, assistant chief of Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency, told CBC. “It’s not safe to be on the roads.”

Cathy Simpkins of Moncton walks through flood waters to check her recreational vehicle trailer following the passing of Hurricane Fiona.
Cathy Simpkins of Moncton walks through flood waters to check her recreational vehicle trailer following the passing of Hurricane Fiona, later downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, in Shediac, New Brunswick [Greg Locke/Reuters]

Although downgraded, Fiona still packed hurricane-force winds of 130km per hour (80mph) as it barreled into Canada after earlier battering the Caribbean, according to meteorologists.

Nova Scotia hard hit

The storm first made landfall in Nova Scotia province at about 3 am (06:00 GMT), according to the Canadian Hurricane Center (CHC).

In Nova Scotia, 384,000 households were without electricity by midday Saturday, Nova Scotia Power reported, while New Brunswick reported 32,000 and Prince Edward Island some 82,000.

“Trees have come down on homes, trees have come down on cars, there are buildings that have collapsed,” Fire Chief Lloyd MacIntosh in the Nova Scotia town of North Sydney told CBC.

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