Fiona transformed from a hurricane into a powerful post-tropical cyclone late Friday, damaging homes with strong winds and rain as it made landfall in eastern Canada on Saturday morning.
The storm toppled a number of trees across the region, with some falling into power lines, cars and houses. There have been multiple reports of blocked and washed-out roads as crews begin assessing damage in areas where the storm has already passed.
Fiona has knocked out power to more than 500,000 customers in Atlantic Canada on Saturday.
More than 415,000 Nova Scotia Power customers — about 80 per cent of the province’s almost 1 million residents — were affected by outages Saturday morning. Over 82,000 customers in the province of Prince Edward Island were also without power, while NB Power in New Brunswick reported 44,329 were without electricity.
The fast-moving Fiona arrived in Nova Scotia before dawn Saturday, leaving a trail of destruction in its path.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre tweeted early Saturday that Fiona has the lowest pressure ever recorded for a storm making landfall in Canada. Forecasters had warned it could be one of the most powerful storms to hit the country.
A state of local emergency has been declared by the mayor and council of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality amid widespread power outages, road closures and damage to homes.
“There are homes that have been significantly damaged due to downed trees, big old trees falling down and causing significant damage. We’re also seeing houses that have their roofs have completely torn off, windows breaking in. There is a huge amount of debris in the roadways,” Amanda McDougall, mayor of Cape Breton Regional Municipality, told The Associated Press.
“There is a lot of damage to belongings and structures but no injuries to people as of this point. Again we’re still in the midst of this,” she said. “It’s still terrifying. I’m just sitting here in my living room and it feels like the patio doors are going to break in with those big gusts. It’s loud and it is shocking.”
–With files from The Associated Press and Global News’ Alex Cooke