Fiona, a Category 3 hurricane, lashed Bermuda with heavy rains and strong winds early Friday as it passed the island on a path that is forecast to approach northeastern Canada later in the day as a still powerful storm.
Bermuda authorities opened shelters and closed schools and offices before Fiona. Prime Minister David Burt sent out a tweet urging residents to “take care of yourselves and your family. Let us all remember to check in and take care of our elders, family and neighbours.”
The Canadian Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for large coastal areas of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. The US National Hurricane Center in Miami said Fiona should hit the area as a “large and powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds.”
“It’s going to be a storm everyone will remember when it’s all said and done,” said Bob Robichaud, warning preparedness meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Center.
Meanwhile, CBS News weather producer David Parkinson takes aim at Tropical Depression 9, which he says was given that label early Friday by the US National Hurricane Center in Miami. Parkinson says models show it moving over Cuba as what would be called Hurricane Hermene, then rapidly intensifying before making landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast, probably midweek, then perhaps crossing Florida and heading up the East Coast. from USA
Early Friday, the system was about 615 miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica.
The hurricane center says Hermene could end up as a strong Category 2 hurricane, meaning its winds would be up to 110 mph.
The United States Hurricane Center said Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 125 mph early Friday. It was centered about 155 miles northwest of Bermuda and 765 miles south-southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was heading north-northeast at a hurricane speed of 21 mph.
Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 115 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 345 miles.
So far, Fiona has been blamed for at least five deaths: two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one on the French island of Guadeloupe.
Hurricanes in Canada are somewhat rare, in part because once storms reach cooler waters, they lose their main source of energy. and become extratropical. But those cyclones can still have hurricane-force winds, albeit with a cold core instead of a warm one and no visible eyes. Its shape may also be different. They lose their symmetrical shape and can look more like a comma.
Robichaud told a news conference that the model projected an “all-time” low pressure across the region, which would bring storm surge and rainfall between 4 and 8 inches.
Amanda McDougall, mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said authorities were preparing a shelter for people to enter before the storm hit.
“We’ve been through these kinds of events before, but my fear is not that much,” he said. “The impacts are going to be big, real and immediate.”
Dave Pickles, Nova Scotia Power’s chief operating officer, said he expected widespread power outages.
Before arriving in Bermuda, Fiona caused seriousprompting President Biden to say Thursday that the full force of the federal government is ready to help get the US homeland back on its feet.
Speaking at a briefing with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials in New York, Biden said, “We’re all in this together.”
He noted that hundreds of FEMA officials and other federal officials are already in Puerto Rico, where Fiona caused an island-wide blackout.
More than 60% of power customers remained without power on Thursday and a third of homes and businesses were without water, while local authorities said they could not say when service would be fully restored.
As of Friday, hundreds of people in Puerto Rico remained isolated by blocked roads five days after the hurricane hit the island. Frustration mounted for people like Nancy Galarza, who tried to ask for help from work crews she saw in the distance.
“Everyone goes there,” he said, pointing to crews at the base of the mountain who were helping others who were also cut off by the storm. “Nobody comes here to see us. I am concerned for all the elderly in this community.”
At least five landslides covered the narrow road to their community in the steep mountains around the northern city of Caguas. The only way to reach the settlement was to climb over the thick mounds of mud, rocks and debris left behind by Fiona, whose floodwaters shook the foundations of nearby houses with the force of an earthquake.
At least eight of the 11 communities in Caguas were completely isolated, said Luis González, municipal recovery and reconstruction inspector.
It was one of at least six municipalities where crews had yet to reach some areas. People there often rely on neighbors for help, as was the case after Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm in 2017 that.
Source : www.cbsnews.com