Fiona is expected to be a post-tropical storm when it reaches the region by Saturday. “It doesn’t mean a weaker storm,” Robichuad warned. “It just means that the structure of the storm is different from that of a pure tropical system.”
Modeling suggests that Fiona will make landfall in Nova Scotia, touching eastern parts of the province, including Cape Breton, before moving into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
“We are very concerned about what Fiona is going to do in Atlantic Canada,” said Jonathan Porter, chief meteorologist for AccuWeather. “It’s going to be a fierce storm across Atlantic Canada.”
Preparations have been underway for days. Residents in the area have been told to expect high winds, downed trees and power outages.
Nova Scotia Power said it would activate its emergency operations center Friday morning in anticipation of the first hurricane of the season in the province.
“We are taking every precaution and will be prepared to respond to Hurricane Fiona in the safest and most efficient manner possible,” said Sean Borden, storm manager for the electric utility.
Provincial officials have advised residents to be prepared with a three-day emergency supply of water, food, clothing, first aid supplies, batteries, flashlights and blankets, all packed in a bag or container, ready to leave in case of an evacuation order.
John Lohr, provincial minister responsible for emergency management in Nova Scotia, said Public Safety Minister Bill Blair preemptively offered all available federal support.
“We’ve been in touch and in discussion with the military, to give them a heads up,” Lohr said. The government is looking to prepare a request for federal disaster financial assistance after the storm if needed, he said: “It likely would be.”
Blair’s office said the minister had been in contact with all five provinces that could be affected by Fiona – and encouraged people to follow the advice of local authorities.
“As Hurricane Fiona moves north, we are closely monitoring the projected track for any potential impacts in Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec,” Blair spokeswoman Annie Cullinan told POLITICO. in an email. “As always, the Government of Canada stands ready to provide support should federal assistance be required.
The National Hurricane Center warned Thursday morning that conditions would deteriorate in Bermuda as Fiona approaches the country and that Atlantic Canada should monitor the storm.
Erdem Karaca, disaster risk manager, Americas, for reinsurance firm Swiss Re, said Fiona could be one of the worst storms to hit this part of Canada since Hurricane Igor in 2010.
“They are not unknown, but could be one of the strongest impacting the region,” he said.