Fiona washed houses into the sea, tore the roofs off others and knocked out power to the vast majority of two Canadian provinces as it made landfall before dawn Saturday as a big, powerful post-tropical cyclone.
Fiona transformed from a hurricane into a post-tropical storm late Friday, but it still had hurricane-strength winds and brought drenching rains and huge waves. There was no confirmation of fatalities or injuries.
Ocean waves pounded the town of Channel-Port Aux Basques on the southern coast of Newfoundland, where entire structures were washed into the sea. Mayor Brian Button said Saturday over social media that people were being evacuated to high ground as winds knocked down power lines.
“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,” René J. Roy, a resident of Channel-Port Aux Basques and chief editor at Wreckhouse Press, said in a phone interview.
Roy estimated between eight to 12 houses and buildings have washed into the sea. “It’s quite terrifying,” he said.
Jolene Garland, a spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Newfoundland and Labrador, said a woman was safe and in “good health” after being “tossed into the water as her home collapsed” in the Channel-Port Aux Basques area. Garland said that an individual who might have been swept away was still reported as missing and that high winds were preventing an aerial search.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the town of 4,000 people was in a state of emergency as authorities dealt with multiple electrical fires and residential flooding.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau canceled his trip to Japan for the funeral for assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Trudeau said the federal government would deploy the Canadian Armed Forces to assist.
“We are seeing devastating images coming out of Port aux Basques. PEI (Prince Edward Island) has experienced storm damage like they’ve never seen. Cape Breton is being hit hard, too,” Trudeau said.
“Canadians are thinking of all those affected by Hurricane Fiona, which is having devastating effects in the Atlantic provinces and eastern Quebec, particularly in the Magdalen Islands. There are people who see their houses destroyed, people who are very worried — we will be there for you.”