Canadian Hurricane Center says Hurricane Fiona will be ‘historic, extreme event’

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The Canadian Hurricane Center says Hurricane Fiona will make landfall in eastern Nova Scotia as a severe post-tropical storm early Saturday.

In a briefing Friday afternoon, Bob Robichaud, a warning preparedness meteorologist with the center, warned people not to focus on the hurricane’s track, as its effects will be felt across a swath of eastern Canada.

Environment Canada says this includes large parts of Nova Scotia, PEI, southeastern New Brunswick, western and southwestern Newfoundland and some parts of Quebec bordering St. Gulf of Lawrence.

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The powerful storm that blasted Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic will bring strong winds, heavy rainfall and significant storm surge into the region.

“It’s still a major hurricane and it’s only 900 kilometers away from us [south of Halifax] and it’s getting bigger,” Robichaud said.

He warned that it is difficult for such a storm to “wind down” once it makes landfall.

SEE | CBC meteorologists provide Friday afternoon update on Fiona

Atlantic Canadian meteorologists give Friday update on Fiona

Across Atlantic Canada, warnings continue as Hurricane Fiona approaches. Fiona is expected to make landfall late Friday night or early Saturday morning, bringing damaging winds, heavy rain and a potentially dangerous storm surge.

Robichaud said rainfall of 100 millimeters to 150 millimeters is expected in Nova Scotia, with local amounts that could be greater.

He said wind speeds won’t drop significantly until Saturday afternoon and into the evening.

SEE | Video from inside Hurricane Fiona taken by an unmanned surface vehicle

Video from inside Category 4 Hurricane Fiona

Footage taken by an unmanned surface vessel (USV) in the Atlantic Ocean shows the inside of Category 4 Hurricane Fiona.

‘Historic, extreme event’

Robichaud said Fiona is bigger than Hurricane Juan, the 2003 storm that hit Nova Scotia. It corresponds in size to Hurricane Dorianwhich hit Nova Scotia in 2019, but it is stronger.

“It’s certainly going to be a historic, extreme event for Atlantic Canada,” Robichaud said.

He said the two biggest risks the storm poses to PEI are strong winds, which could exceed 140 km/h, and a large storm surge.

Robichaud said the greatest potential for coastal flooding will be Saturday morning on Nova Scotia’s north coast, PEI and eastern New Brunswick.

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