Fiona makes landfall in Nova Scotia as post-tropical storm

Post-tropical storm Fiona arrived in Nova Scotia early Saturday morning, with the U.S. National Hurricane Center saying the centre made landfall on the Canso Peninsula near Hart Island and Guysborough.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre tweeted early Saturday that Fiona is the lowest pressured land falling storm on record in Canada.

In an early update, the centre said Fiona was expected to pass through Cape Breton in the morning, and then reach the Quebec Lower North Shore and Southeastern Labrador by late evening.

The storm knocked out power to more than 500,000 customers in the Maritimes early Saturday, with most of the damage reported in eastern Nova Scotia, across P.E.I. and Cape Breton. As of 7 a.m. local time, Maritime Electric was reporting outages affecting 82,138 customers, out of the 86,000 served by the utility company. Nova Scotia Power reported 412,041 customers were in the dark, and NB Power reported 44,329 were without electricity.

The centre said widespread gusts between 90 and 120 km/h have been reported over Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Iles-de-la-Madeleine, and southwestern Newfoundland, with a peak gusts to 161 km/h over Beaver Island, NS.

Parts of eastern mainland Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have recorded 75 to 125 mm of rainfall.

The “historic” storm was forecasted to bring between 100 to 200 millimetres of rain across much of Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec, with more than 200 millimetres expected to fall in areas closer to the storm’s path.

Storm surge warnings are in effect for most of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, southwestern Newfoundland, eastern Nova Scotia and the East Coast of New Brunswick, with waves possibly surpassing 12 metres in eastern portions of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Cabot Strait.

Coastal flooding remains a threat for parts of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island including the Northumberland Strait, the Gulf of St. Lawrence region including Iles-de-la-Madeleine and eastern New Brunswick, southwest Newfoundland, St. Lawrence Estuary and the Quebec Lower North Shore.

Hurricane and tropical storm warnings are in effect for most areas, along with wind and rainfall warnings from the Atlantic Storm Prediction Centre.

The hurricane centre said conditions will improve over western Nova Scotia and eastern New Brunswick later in the day, but will persist elsewhere.

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