Now, officials are beginning to explain the damage to the area.
Storm hit Nova Scotia, where Fiona made her first touchdown during the early morning hours of Saturday. Strong winds toppled trees and power lines, swept away roads, scattered debris across neighborhoods and, in many cases, cut entire power poles in half, officials said.
Prime Minister Tim Houston said Sunday morning that officials are prioritizing restoring power after Fiona destroyed power lines and communications networks across the county.
“Clean up the roads, and give the crews space to do what needs to be done, that’s the most important thing right now,” Houston said. “It will take time.”
One person in Newfoundland reportedly died in the storm. Houston said there were not many reports of serious injuries, although about 200 people are currently displaced from their homes.
“The damage is great, but the priority now is to get the energy back to the people, to get people to safe shelter, and to get some back, you know, back to normal,” he said. “It’s going to take some time when we get out of this.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday that the government has approved Nova Scotia’s request for federal assistance and that the Canadian Armed Forces will be deployed to assist in the region. On Saturday, the prime minister said, residents lived 12 “terrifying” hours.
“People have seen their homes swept away, and they have watched the wind rip off the rooftops of schools,” Trudeau said. “And as Canadians, as we always do in times of trouble, we will be there for each other.”
In Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, police shared photos of collapsed power lines over buildings and fallen trees blocking roads and penetrating structures. Maritime Electric, in the area, said it was concerned about people going out to walk and drive in the streets where there is widespread damage from broken power lines and possible live wires.
Power outage in Nova Scotia
Houston said Saturday that nearly three-quarters of Nova Scotia lost power as Fiona advanced. Peak winds of 171 km/h (106 mph) were recorded in the town of Arezig in the province on Saturday. Meanwhile, Wreckhouse in Newfoundland saw gusts of 170 km/h (105 mph).
Nova Scotia Power President and CEO Peter Gregg said Saturday bad weather conditions have hampered energy recovery efforts. He said more than 900 electricians are on their way to the area, but some customers may experience power outages for several days.
In the capital of Nova Scotia, Halifax, strong winds uprooted trees and downed power lines, sending off sparks and flashing lights.
The roof of an apartment complex in Halifax has collapsed, forcing about 100 people to move to a shelter, Mayor Mike Savage told CNN Saturday.
“The scale of this storm was breathtaking,” Savage said later at a news conference on Saturday. “It turned out that everything was expected.”
Osborne Head in Nova Scotia received 192 mm (7.55 in) of rain, and Crowe Brook in New Brunswick received 107 mm (4.2 in), among other heavy rainfall amounts across the provinces.
‘A total war zone’ says the mayor of Port-au-Basque.
And in Newfoundland, a video showed buildings floating in water and cars submerged in torrential rain. A woman has been rescued from the water after her home collapsed, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. She was taken to the hospital. Police said the extent of her injuries was not immediately known.
On Saturday, Trudeau said the town of Port-au-Pasque, located in the southwestern tip of Newfoundland, was also one of the hardest-hit areas.
“We are seeing devastating images emerging from Port-au-Basque,” he said. “Obviously when we see pictures of houses falling into the sea and waves destroying property and buildings, our first thought should be people.”
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on Sunday recovered the body of a 73-year-old woman who had washed up at sea the day before in Port au Basque.
“The woman was last seen inside the house just moments before a wave hit the house, destroying part of the basement,” police said in a press release.
This is the first death attributed to Fiona in Canada. The storm claimed at least six more lives along its path – one in Guadeloupe, three in Puerto Rico and two in the Dominican Republic.
First responders in Port aux Basques were dealing with numerous electrical fires, residential flooding, and washing.
“We’ve got a whole war zone here, we’ve got devastation everywhere,” Port-au-Pasco Mayor Brian Patton said in a video update, warning to expect more storms.
Port aux Basques is now subject to a demand for boiling water, and electricity is still cut off for many residents. The mayor said concrete barriers were also erected around areas that the storm had made “hazardous areas”.
The Port aux Basques tide gauge recorded a maximum total water level of 2.73 meters (8.96 feet) — surpassing the previous record of 2.71 (8.89 feet) set in 2017, according to the Canadian Hurricane Center.
CNN’s Derek Van Damme, Eric Levinson, Tina Burnside, Jason Hanna, Christina Maxuris, Hannah Sarrison and Andy Rose contributed to this report.
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