Hurricane Fiona expected to change track and impact Atlantic Canada this weekend

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HALIFAX — Hurricane Fiona is expected to hit Atlantic Canada as a “potent post-tropical storm” this weekend and may bring heavy rain, damaging winds and flooding to the region, the Canadian Hurricane Centre said Tuesday.

The storm, which is currently a Category 3 hurricane, is forecast to reach land in Atlantic Canada on Saturday. The hurricane has devastated Puerto Rico, and it hit the Turks and Caicos Islands Tuesday.

Canadian Hurricane Centre meteorologist Ian Hubbard says he expects Fiona will bring significant rain and “very strong and possibly damaging winds" in some areas of the region. “It's also looking like there could be some coastal flooding in areas from waves and storm surge,” he said in an interview.

Storm projections suggest that Fiona will track near or just east of Cape Breton, Hubbard said. “So in terms of where some significant impacts would be, we’re talking about eastern Nova Scotia,” he said, adding that much of the province may be affected.

At this stage it’s expected that Fiona will also impact eastern New Brunswick, stretching from the Chaleur region to Moncton, N.B. It is also expected to affect Prince Edward Island and the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Que., before reaching Newfoundland.

Hubbard said the storm is likely to Increase in size as it transitions from a hurricane to a post-tropical storm, which means “the area of impact is probably going to increase.” Because the storm is still days away from reaching the region, specifics about its path and impact remain unclear. “At this point the details are few and far in between,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard suggested residents pay close attention to the weather forecast as the weekend approaches and to prepare for Fiona’s potential impact.

P.E.I. Public Safety Minister Darlene Compton says Islanders should ensure their emergency plans are up-to-date and kits are stocked.

"This means making sure we have enough supplies for at least 72 hours," she said in a news release. "It is also important that we check on our loved ones and neighbours who might need an extra set of hands to prepare for what Fiona might bring.”

Hubbard said much of Atlantic Canada will likely experience heavy rain and winds ahead of Saturday's storm.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Lyndsay Armstrong, The Canadian Press