Tropical Storm Fiona washes away homes in Canada, Tropical Storm Ian threatens Florida

Hurricane-force winds of 110 kilometers per hour battered Canada, knocking down trees and power lines and reducing many homes on the coast to “just a pile of rubble in the ocean”.

Tropical Storm Fiona, which transformed from a hurricane, forced waves to batter the town of Channel-Port Aux Basques on the south coast of Newfoundland on Saturday, where entire structures were swept into the sea.

“I see houses in the ocean,” said Port aux Basques resident and Wreckhouse Press editor Rene J Roy.

“It’s by far the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said, describing many homes as “just a pile of rubble in the ocean right now.”

“It’s complete and utter destruction. There’s an apartment that’s gone.”

Mr. Roy estimated that between eight and 12 houses and buildings had been washed away by the sea.

“It’s pretty terrifying,” he said.

The Canadian Hurricane Center said Fiona had the lowest pressure on record for a storm making landfall in Canada.

Unprecedented winds during the storm caused severe damage and approximately 380,000 customers remain without power.(Reuters: Ted Pritchard)

Meteorologist Ian Hubbard said it appeared Fiona had lived up to expectations of being a “historic” storm.

“It looked like he had the potential to break the all-time Canadian record, and it looks like he did,” he said.

“We’re not out of it yet.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has canceled plans to attend former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s funeral to visit the storm-damaged area.

“We are seeing reports of significant damage in the area, and recovery is going to take a big effort,” he said.

“We will be there to support you every step of the way.”

An uprooted tree fell on the roof of a house.
Hurricane Fiona, downgraded to a post-tropical storm, destroyed homes and imposed a state of emergency in some areas. (Reuters: Ted Pritchard)

Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokeswoman Jolene Garland said a missing person believed to have been taken away had yet to be found, with high winds preventing an aerial search.

Separately, a woman was safe and in “good health” after she was “thrown into the water as her house collapsed” in the Channel-Port Aux Basques area, Ms Garland said.

Police said the town of 4,000 was in a state of emergency as authorities dealt with multiple electrical fires and residential flooding.

A bulldozer drives on a coastal road covered in debris.
Road crews clean up debris caused by Tropical Storm Fiona. (Nigel Quinn: The Canadian Press via AP)

Nova Scotia Power President Peter Gregg said unprecedented peak winds caused severe damage to infrastructure and left about 380,000 customers without power.

“In many areas, the weather conditions are still too dangerous for our crews to get into our bucket trucks,” he said.

Fiona has been charged with at least five deaths so far, including two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one on the French island of Guadeloupe.

Florida residents urged to prepare for Tropical Storm Ian

Meanwhile, Florida authorities and residents are cautiously watching Tropical Storm Ian as it rumbles through the Caribbean.

The storm is expected to continue to gain strength and become a major hurricane in the coming days on an expected track into the state.

A loose spiraling white tropical storm can be seen over a gridded map of the Caribbean.
A satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Tropical Storm Ian over the central Caribbean on Saturday.(Provided via AP: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for all of Florida the day before, expanding an initial order that covered two dozen counties.

He urged residents to prepare for a storm that could hit large swathes of the state with heavy rain, high winds and rising seas.

“We encourage all Floridians to come prepared,” DeSantis said in a statement.

A middle-aged white man with brown hair wearing a suit gestures with both hands as he speaks at a podium.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference Thursday.(AP Photo: Rebecca Blackwell)

President Joe Biden also declared an emergency, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to coordinate disaster relief and provide assistance to protect lives and property. .

The National Hurricane Center said Ian is expected to strengthen before moving over western Cuba and the west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle by midweek.

The agency advised Floridians to put hurricane plans in place and watch for updates on the changing path of the storm.

John Cangialosi, senior hurricane specialist at the Miami-based center, said it’s not yet clear exactly where Ian will hit hardest, and Floridians should begin preparations, including gathering supplies for possible power outages = blackout.

“At this point, the right message for those living in Florida is that you need to watch the forecast and prepare and be prepared for the potential impact of this tropical system,” he said.

In Pinellas Park near Tampa, people lined up at a Home Depot when it opened at 6 a.m. Saturday, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Manager Wendy Macrini said the store had sold 600 cases of water by early afternoon and there were no more generators.

People were also buying plywood to buttress their windows: “Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it,” Matt Beaver of Pinellas Park told The Times.

Reuters/AP

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