Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and southeastern N.B. hit with severe winds, torrential rain
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Hundreds of thousands of customers in the Maritime provinces are without power as post-tropical storm Fiona brings intense, hurricane-strength winds and torrential rains to large swaths of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.
Fiona made landfall in Nova Scotia shortly after 3 a.m. ET between Canso and Guysborough.
At around 4:15 a.m. AT, more than 367,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were affected by outages. Its website says it has "more than 525,000 customers" in the province.
Meanwhile, P.E.I.'s Maritime Electric said more than 79,000 customers were without power. Its website says it has "over 86,000 customers."
N.B. Power was reporting more than 31,000 outages, concentrated in the province's southeast.
Hurricane or tropical storm warnings are in place throughout most of Atlantic Canada and down trees, power lines and street signs were evident on social media in Nova Scotia and P.E.I.
In Dartmouth, N.S., a fire official said a chimney blew over at a three-storey apartment building in the Grahams Corner neighbourhood and fell through the building. Nobody was hurt.
"It's going to a bad one," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who decided to delay his trip to Japan for the funeral for assassinated Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
"We of course hope there won't be much needed, but we feel there probably will be …," Trudeau said. "Listen to the instructions of local authorities and hang in there for the next 24 hours."
CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon said the storm approached Nova Scotia at 64 km/h but slowed significantly as it arrived in the province. This will be a long-duration event for P.E.I. and eastern Nova Scotia, he said.
By 9 a.m., the centre of the storm will be moving to the western side of Cape Breton and it will slowly depart Nova Scotia.
Winds will ease in mid-to-late morning for central Nova Scotia and late afternoon or evening for eastern Nova Scotia, he said.
Environment Canada said Fiona will reach the Quebec Lower North Shore and Southeastern Labrador by late Saturday night.
The agency said severe winds and rainfall, large waves and storm surges were all occurring.
Environment Canada said rainfall will be significant, particularly north and west of Fiona's track where it could lead to flooding. Some areas could see as much as 200 mm of rain. One-hundred-and-twenty millimetres had already been reported in some weather stations in eastern Nova Scotia by 3 a.m.
Some waves along Nova Scotia's eastern shore could build to be more than 10 metres tall, with waves along southern Newfoundland Saturday morning reaching higher heights.
"Waves over eastern portions of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Cabot Strait could be higher than 12 metres," Environment Canada said.
It said the western Gulf will see waves from the north up to eight metres in some places, "which will probably cause significant erosion for north facing beaches of Prince Edward Island."
The forecaster said the Magdalen Islands will also see some coastal erosion from waves.
Coastal flooding is a big concern for Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, the Magdalen Islands, eastern New Brunswick and southwest Newfoundland.
"The highest risk for coastal flooding will be a combination of storm surge with large waves moving onshore," said Environment Canada.
CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon's Fiona forecast for Friday, Sept. 23
In his update for Friday evening ahead of the storm, Snoddon said Fiona was beginning to hook toward Nova Scotia.
"This is is definitely going to be one of, if not the most powerful tropical cyclones to affect our part of the country," said Ian Hubbard, meteorologist for the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. "It's going to be definitely as severe and as bad as any I've seen."
With files from John Mazerolle, Ryan Snoddon, Jay Scotland and The Canadian Press
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