Hurricane Fiona path - live: Forecasters warn Canada’s Atlantic coast faces threat level of superstorm ‘Sandy’

·12 min read
Hurricane Fiona path - live: Forecasters warn Canada’s Atlantic coast faces threat level of superstorm ‘Sandy’

Hurricane Fiona is on a collision course with Atlantic Canada, after devastating Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic earlier this week.

The storm is expected to make landfall late Friday night into Saturday morning, bringing intense winds and rains, as well as possible flooding and power outages to much of the region.

The heaviest damage will likely be felt in Nova Scotia, where the storm is hitting directly – but since the storm is so large, dangerous weather is also forecast for parts of Newfoundland, Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre has warned that this could be a “historic storm” and a “landmark weather event” as the powerful storm makes its way into the region.

A meteorologist with the agency told CNN that the storm could rival 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the northeast US.

Fiona has already become the most destructive hurricane of the year so far in the Atlantic Ocean after floods and damaging winds left millions of people without running water or electricity in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

These kinds of extreme storms are only becoming more common as the climate crisis grows and ocean temperatures rise, creating more and more powerful hurricanes that can create serious damage as they reach land.

Key Points

  • Canada braces for Hurricane Fiona

  • Fiona whips up massive waves as it heads north

Residents share footage from Halifax as trees fall on roads

06:16 , Peony Hirwani

Nova Scotia residents continue to share footage of hurricane Fiona with clips showing trees falling on roads.

‘Surge is now coming in fast’: Storm hunter Mark Robinson shares latest update from Louisbourg

06:09 , Peony Hirwani

Mark Robinson says that the “waves are overtopping the docks” in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia as hurricane Fiona hits the province.

Storm hunter Mark Robinson shares hurricane Fiona update from the docks in Louisbourg

05:47 , Peony Hirwani

Storm hunter Mark Robinson is sharing live updates of “extreme wind and waves” caused by hurricane Fiona from the docks in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia.

“Situation is rapidly deteriorating on the docks in Louisbourg,” he says in his video. “You can see behind me that the winds are ticking up the ocean and just flinging it up and over.

“I’m tasting salt water. I’m smelling the ocean.

“As we get closer to the centre of the storm, this [place] is likely going to be underwater.”

Puerto Rico is without power more than five days after Hurricane Fiona struck

05:45 , Peony Hirwani

Half of Puerto Rico is experiencing a power cut more than five days after Hurricane Fiona struck, including an entire town where not a single work crew has arrived.

Many residents of the US territory are angry and incredulous, and calls are growing for the ouster of the island’s private electricity transmission and distribution company.

They’re questioning why it is taking so long to restore power since Fiona was a Category 1 storm that did not affect the entire island, and whose rain - not wind - inflicted the greatest damage.

Thousands of Nova Scotia residents lost power amid high winds and rain as Hurricane Fiona hit the province

05:39 , Peony Hirwani

By 11.59pm yesterday, there were more than 153,000 customers without power, according to the utility company’s online outage map.

Many of those outages were because of high winds and rain, according to the map. It said the power could be back on by Saturday (24 September) for some, while others may need to wait until Wednesday (28 September).

ICYMI: Canada’s ‘Sandy’

05:04 , Graeme Massie

A meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Centre told CNN that Fiona could be a Canadian equivalent to Hurricane Sandy, which smashed into New York and New Jersey in 2012.

Fiona, much like Sandy, is a very large storm, spanning hundreds of miles wide. The storm is also forecast to change into a post-tropical windstorm, much like Sandy, Axios reports.

Nova Scotia residents share clips of hurricane Fiona

04:57 , Peony Hirwani

Social media users have started posting clips of hurricane Fiona from their homes in Nova Scotia.

In many clips, winds and rain can be seen gushing through the streets as the storm hits the province.

Storm chaser Josh Morgerman issues update about hurricane as Fiona hits Nova Scotia

04:47 , Peony Hirwani

TV personality and professional storm chaser Josh Morgerman has issued an update about hurricane Fiona as it hit Nova Scotia.

“[It’s] 12:25am in Glace Bay and not a drop of rain but the wind is ripping pretty good. It is a good stiff wind.

“You have moments where you get that crazy hurricane howl.”

ICYMI: Trudeau urges residents to prepare

04:06 , Graeme Massie

ICYMI: Fiona churns up massive waves in the Atlantic near Bermuda

03:03 , Graeme Massie

JetBlue flight flew directly over Hurricane Fiona

02:14 , Ethan Freedman

A flight between Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and Newark, New Jersey flew over Hurricane Fiona on Monday night

This JetBlue flight flew directly over Hurricane Fiona

Bridge closes

01:55 , Ethan Freedman

The MacKay Bridge, which runs between Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia is closing as the province prepares for Hurricane Fiona

Mariners secure their boats before the storm

01:35 , Ethan Freedman

Rick Ellerbrook checks on the lines holding his sailboat in Sydney, Nova Scotia in preparation for Hurricane Fiona (AP)
Rick Ellerbrook checks on the lines holding his sailboat in Sydney, Nova Scotia in preparation for Hurricane Fiona (AP)
Jeffrey Mosher ties down his boat in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The storm is expected to bring massive swells and hurricane-force winds to the province (REUTERS)
Jeffrey Mosher ties down his boat in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The storm is expected to bring massive swells and hurricane-force winds to the province (REUTERS)

Hurricane season finally heats up

01:15 , Ethan Freedman

The 2022 hurricane season in the Atlantic got off to a slow start, with just three named storms forming by the end of August.

But September has brought wave after wave of activity, including Fiona, the most powerful storm of the season.

Currently, there are four tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had forecast an “above-normal” season, with up to 20 named storms.

Radar shows Fiona approaching

00:56 , Ethan Freedman

Halifax hunkers down for the storm

00:36 , Ethan Freedman

Francis Bruhm places sandbags around the Nova Scotia Power Building in Halifax on Friday in preparation for Hurricane Fiona (REUTERS)
Francis Bruhm places sandbags around the Nova Scotia Power Building in Halifax on Friday in preparation for Hurricane Fiona (REUTERS)

Prime Minister Trudeau speaks on impending Hurricane Fiona

00:17 , Ethan Freedman

Hurricane-chasing drone records 50ft waves

23:57 , Ethan Freedman

An unmanned, hurricane-chasing drone has captured footage of nearly 50 feet waves at the centre of Hurricane Fiona.“Saildrone 1078” recorded the enormous waves and wind speeds over 100 mph off Bermuda on Thursday in the midst of the first Category 4 hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic season.SD 1078 is one of seven “hurricane” saildrones operating in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico this hurricane season, gathering data to better understand the physical processes of hurricanes. The aim is to improve forecasting and reduce loss of life during the extreme weather events.“Hurricane Fiona intensified from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane just before hitting Puerto Rico, causing significant damage and loss of life,” said Richard Jenkins, Saildrone founder and CEO, in a statement.“The data Saildrone vehicles are gathering will help the science community better understand rapid intensification, giving people living in our coastal communities more time to prepare.”

Hurricane-chasing drone captures Fiona’s 50ft waves

Likely Tropical Storm Ian

23:37 , Ethan Freedman

Tropical Depression Nine, which formed in the Caribbean this morning, is likely to become a tropical storm in the next couple of days – and a hurricane after that.

The storm is likely to bring heavy rain and winds to Cuba, Jamaica and Cayman Islands before heading up to the US.

Forecasts at this point are still far out and could change, but the National Hurricane Centre predicts that it could be a Category 3 storm by the time it reaches Florida’s Gulf Coast, which would be the first major hurricane of the year to hit the continental US.

Grocery stores see empty shelves

23:17 , Ethan Freedman

Grocery store shelves are empty in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Friday as people prepare for Hurricane Fiona to hit the region (AP)
Grocery store shelves are empty in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Friday as people prepare for Hurricane Fiona to hit the region (AP)

Flooding could be ‘significant'

22:57 , Ethan Freedman

The latest update from the US National Hurricane Centre warns that some areas of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland may see up to 10 inches (25 centimetres) of rain, which could create “significant” flooding.

Some areas in Labrador and Quebec will see up to five inches (13 cm), while New Brunswick will see up to three (eight cm).

40-foot waves expected as the storm hits Canada

22:37 , Ethan Freedman

The Canadian Hurricane Centre has warned that waves up to 40 feet (12 metres) could swell as Hurricane Fiona reaches land tonight.

The swells will create extremely dangerous conditions for boats, and potentially lead to erosion and flooding along the coasts.

Tropical Storm Hermine has formed

22:05 , Ethan Freedman

Tropical Storm Hermine has formed off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal, the eighth named storm of the season.

The storm is expected to hit some islands in the next few days before weakening but otherwise does not pose a major threat to land.

Another tropical depression in the Caribbean will likely be named “Ian”

Nova Scotia Premier urgest residents to prepare

21:25 , Ethan Freedman

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston put out a video on Twitter asking residents to get ready for the storm, including monitoring weather forecasts, making sure they have enough food and securing down their homes.

20:22 , Ethan Freedman

A number of events and public services have been cancelled in Atlantic Canada as a result of the storm.

Global News reports that bus and ferry service has been shut down in Halifax and flights are being cancelled in much of the region.

Universities are closing through the weekend as is a Halifax shopping mall. The Halifax Oyster Festival, along with a number of youth league hockey games, have been postponed.

Tropical Depressions pose new threat

18:52 , Ethan Freedman

While Fiona is heading north, two other tropical depressions have formed in the Atlantic and are likely to become tropical storms within the next day or so.

One is in the Caribbean and another is near Senegal. Whichever reaches tropical storm status first – meaning winds 39 miles per hour (63 kilometres per hour) or greater – will become Tropical Storm Hermine, and the other would be Tropical Storm Ian

“All preparartions should be complete by this evening"

18:20 , Ethan Freedman

An update on Hurricane Fiona from the Canadian government urged residents in affected areas to be prepared by this evening, as heavy rains and wind will start to hit soon, reaching full intensity overnight and into Saturday morning

18:02 , Ethan Freedman

Satellite imagery shows all four tropical cyclones currently brewing in the Atlantic Basin – Fiona in the northwest, Tropical Storm Gaston in the eastern Atlantic, Tropical Depression Nine in the Caribbean and Tropical Depression Ten off the coast of Senegal

17:47 , Ethan Freedman

The storm is currently off the coast of Maryland but headed north quickly.

The storm is also very wide, and rainfall has already begun in Nova Scotia.

17:32 , Ethan Freedman

The Canadian Hurricane Centre has issued hurricane warnings for much of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland

Fiona, now a Category 4 hurricane, is projected to weaken somewhat by the time it reaches land, but will still bring dangerous weather to the Canadian Atlantic Coast

Canada prepares for ‘strongest-ever’ storm

17:28 , Ethan Freedman

Hurricane Fiona: Canada prepares for ‘strongest-ever’ storm