The Category 3 Hurricane Fiona is expected to hit Atlantic Canada on Friday, bringing with it heavy winds and rains.
It pounded the island of Bermuda on Friday morning and is expected to move northwards today with the same force.
Authorities in Bermuda opened shelters and closed schools and offices ahead of Fiona. Premier David Burt sent a tweet urging residents to “take care of yourself and your family. Let’s all remember to check on as well as look out for your seniors, family, and neighbors.”
The Canadian Hurricane Centre issued a hurricane watch over extensive coastal expanses of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Fiona should reach the area as a “large and powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds.”
Environment Canada’s forecast Thursday called for the intense low-pressure storm system to bring heavy rainfall and “severe” winds that will likely cause damage and widespread power outages.
Fiona is expected to reach Nova Scotia waters by Friday night before passing through the eastern mainland part of the province, Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island on Saturday, and on to Quebec’s Lower North Shore and southeastern Labrador early Sunday.
Most affected regions will see wind speeds over 100 kilometers per hour, with the potential for gusts as high as 140 kilometers per hour in eastern Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, and parts of Prince Edward Island, Ian Hubbard, a meteorologist at the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Dartmouth, N.S., said.
Fiona so far has been blamed for at least five deaths — two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic, and one in the French island of Guadeloupe.
It caused historic flooding when it barrelled through Puerto Rico earlier this week, smashing roads and bridges. It then struck the Dominican Republic and swiped past the Turks and Caicos Islands as it strengthened into a Category 4 storm.