By Rob Glaze and Danica Cotto
CAGUAS, Puerto Rico (AP) — A hurricane is expected to become a massive posttropical storm that will bring hurricane-force winds, heavy rain and large waves to the Atlantic Ocean, meteorologists said. Friday warned that it was likely to be one of them. The worst storm in the country’s history.
Hurricane Fiona, which had weakened slightly to a Category 3 storm, was forecast to make landfall on Saturday morning.
The Canadian Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for broad coastal areas of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Fiona should approach the area as “a large and powerful posttropical storm with hurricane-force winds.”
“This is definitely going to be one of the most powerful tropical storms to hit our part of the country,” said Ian Hubbard, a meteorologist at the Canadian Hurricane Center in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. “It will certainly be as intense and as bad as I’ve seen.”
Fiona was a Category 4 hurricane when it hit Bermuda early Friday with heavy rain and strong winds as it swept across the island on its way to northeastern Canada. Authorities in Bermuda opened shelters and closed schools and offices ahead of Fiona. National Security Minister Michael Weeks said there were no reports of major damage.
Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) on Friday afternoon, the US center said. It was centered about 370 miles (595 km) south-southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, moving northeast at 40 mph (65 km/h).
Hurricane winds extend 115 miles (185 km) outward from the center, and tropical storm winds extend 345 miles (555 km) outward.
Hubbard said the storm is weakening as it moves over colder water and he felt it was highly unlikely to make landfall at hurricane strength. Hurricanes are somewhat rare in Canada, in part because once storms reach colder waters, they lose their primary source of energy. and become extratropical. But these storms can still pack hurricane-force winds, albeit with a colder, rather than warm, core. Their appearance may also vary. They lose their harmonic shape and more closely resemble commas.
Bob Robichaud, Canadian Hurricane Center warning preparedness meteorologist, said the storm’s center was expected to make landfall in Nova Scotia early Saturday morning, but its winds and rain would arrive late Friday.
“It’s going in a bad direction,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. “Of course we hope there won’t be much need, but we feel there probably will be. And we’ll be there for that. In the meantime we all need to stay safe and listen to the instructions of local authorities and for the next 24 hours. They encourage you to stay there.
Prince Edward Island officials issued an emergency warning of severe flooding along the province’s northern coast. Immediate efforts should be made to protect the goods. Avoid the beaches, the waves are extremely dangerous. Residents of these areas should be prepared to evacuate if necessary,” the alert read.
Officials in Nova Scotia sent out an emergency alert by phone warning of Fiona’s arrival and urging people to stay indoors, avoid beaches, charge devices and stay away for at least 72 hours. Have enough supplies. Officials warned of extended power outages, wind damage to trees and structures, and coastal flooding and potential road washouts.
A hurricane warning was in effect for Nova Scotia from Hubbards to Brule. Prince Edward Island; Isle-de-la-Madeleine; and Newfoundland from Parson’s Pond to Francois.
Fiona has been blamed for at least five d*aths so far – two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one on the French island of Guadeloupe.
People across Atlantic Canada were stocking up on last-minute essentials and storm-proofing their properties ahead of Friday’s arrival.
At the Samsons Enterprises boatyard in the small Acadian community of Petit-de-Grat on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island, Jordan David was helping his friend Kyle Boudreau tie up Boudreau’s lobster boat “Bad Influence” in hopes of lifting it. It will not be broken. the winds
“All we can do is hope for the best and prepare as best we can. Something is coming, and how bad is yet to be determined,” David said of his outdoor waterproofs. said wearing the gear.
Kyle Boudreau said he was worried. “This is our livelihood. Our boats break, our nets break … it’s something you don’t have to start your season next year for,” he said.
Aidan Simpson said he had been working 11-hour days at his father-in-law’s boatyard for the past week, pulling fishing boats out of the water.
Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center said a newly formed tropical depression is expected to strengthen in the southern Caribbean, and hit Cuba as a hurricane early Tuesday and then hit South Florida early Wednesday.
It was centered about 430 miles (690 km) east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. It had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 km/h) and gusts of 15 mph (24 km/h). A hurricane watch has been issued for the Cayman Islands.
Before reaching Bermuda, Fiona caused severe flooding and destruction in Puerto Rico, prompting US President Joe Biden on Thursday to say the full force of the federal government was ready to help the US territory recover.
Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierlosi activated the National Guard to help distribute diesel fuel to hospitals and supermarkets. The force is also supplying generators used to run drinking water plants and telecommunication towers. Hundreds of people remained isolated as the roads were blocked.
Gillies reported from Toronto. Associated Press reporter Maricarman Rivera Sanchez in San Juan, Puerto Rico contributed.
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