NL Bracing for Hurricane Fiona

(Hurricane Fiona satellite image via NOAA.)

Fiona is now pounding the Halifax area with about 8,500 customers without electricity.

The hurricane will take particular aim at the western part of Newfoundland, the south and southwest coasts. It is now down to Category 3, but is still a very powerful storm.

Fiona will make landfall in eastern Nova Scotia tomorrow morning so the winds pick up overnight as the storm expands in size. However, it is picking up speed, currently moving at 56 km/h.

The Port aux Basques area could get up to 100 mm of rain over the next two days with lesser amounts in the Corner Brook area and the south. However, storm surge and wave warnings are out for all south-facing coastlines and the coasts along the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Rob Carroll, meteorologist with the Gander Weather Office, says records could be broken in the southwest corner.

There is the potential to have the highest water levels in the Port aux Basques area on record.

It should be a decent couple of days on the Avalon, the east coast and in central but those areas will feel some impact as will southern Labrador where winds tomorrow will get up to 70 km/h.

The Maritimes will begin to really feel the wrath tonight with a ton of water and high winds.

While Fiona has her sites set on the western portion of the island, the size of the storm means most of the province will feel its effects with high winds expected in most areas.

Residents across the province are being reminded to bring loose or vulnerable outdoor items indoors or secure them in place.

Residents are also reminded to have an emergency kit ready and to have their devices fully charged and to have batteries on hand for radios and other items.

Municipalities are also being asked to ensure roads, ditches and drains are clear of debris, that emergency plans are reviewed and ready and that provisions are made for the continuation of essential services.

All crossings on the Gulf of St. Lawrence are cancelled for this evening, tomorrow and Sunday morning as Marine Atlantic prepares for Hurricane Fiona.

The storm is expected to bring sustained winds well in excess of 100 km/h, heavy storm surge and torrential rain to both Cape Breton and the southwest coast of the island.

Marine Atlantic says extra mooring equipment will be used to secure vessels at the dock both in Channel-Port aux Basques and North Sydney.

Meanwhile, Channel-Port-aux-Basques Mayor Brian Button says they’re preparing as best as they can.

Town crews are removing outdoor equipment, pots and other loose items and securing construction sites.

Button says residents of the region are used to preparing for powerful storms but admits, this one is especially concerning.

The City of Corner Brook is also bracing for the storm and hoping for the best.

Mayor Jim Parsons says tree trimming is keeping crews and contractors busy. “and we’re filling sandbags, a lot of sandbags” says Parsons.