Trudeau vows Atlantic Canada aid as Hurricane Fiona approaches: ‘It’s going to be a bad one’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged Friday that the federal government will be on hand to help Atlantic Canada prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Fiona, which is expected to make landfall Saturday morning.

The Canadian Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane watch over much of coastal Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, with authorities warning of heavy rain, flooding and “life-threatening” storm surges.

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Fiona is said to be a “historic storm” for eastern Canada, NS issues an emergency call

“It’s going to be bad,” Trudeau said during a joint news conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Ottawa.

“We hope, of course, that not much (federal aid) will be needed, but we think it likely will be. And that’s what we’ll be here for. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to stay safe and listen to the advice of local authorities and hold out for the next 24 hours.”

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Trudeau said Emergency Preparedness Secretary Bill Blair has been in touch with his provincial counterparts, who the prime minister said have “tremendous” resources to prepare for the coming storm and to support residents in affected areas.

Fiona, currently a Category 4 hurricane, had maximum sustained winds of 125 mph Friday afternoon as it approached Nova Scotia from the south. According to the latest update from the Canadian Hurricane Center, those winds are still expected to reach up to 110 mph (175 km/h) by the time they reach the province’s south coast.

“This will definitely be one of, if not the, most powerful tropical cyclone to hit our part of the country,” Ian Hubbard, meteorologist at the Canadian Hurricane Center in Dartmouth, NS, said during an update on Friday. “It’s definitely going to be as bad and as bad as any I’ve seen.”

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Click here to play the video:'People are urged to stay home and stay safe as Fiona emerges'

People have been urged to stay home and stay safe while Fiona emerges

People have been urged to stay home and stay safe while Fiona emerges

Bob Robichaud, alert forecaster at the Canadian Hurricane Center, said the center of the storm is expected to hit Nova Scotia Saturday morning, but its winds and rain would hit late Friday.

Warnings of severe flooding due to storm surges along Prince Edward Island’s north coast were received Friday afternoon among residents who have been told to be prepared to relocate to other areas if they live in the area.

Officials said the heaviest rains are expected in eastern Nova Scotia, southwest Newfoundland and the Gulf of St. Lawrence region. Rain warnings have also been issued for southeast New Brunswick.

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh also urged Atlantic Canada residents to “stay safe” during the storm and take necessary precautions.

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Fiona has been blamed for at least five deaths so far: two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one on the French island of Guadeloupe.

The storm hit Bermuda with heavy rain and winds early Friday as it swept past the island on a route toward Atlantic Canada. Authorities in Bermuda opened shelters and closed schools and offices ahead of Fiona. Michael Weeks, the national security secretary, said there had been no reports of major damage.

Before reaching Bermuda, Fiona caused severe flooding and devastation in Puerto Rico, prompting US President Joe Biden to say Thursday that the full force of the federal government stands ready to help the US territory recover.

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As of Friday, blocked roads have left hundreds of people in Puerto Rico isolated for five days after the hurricane swept across the island.

– With files by Alex Cooke of Global and Associated Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Trudeau vows Atlantic Canada aid as Hurricane Fiona approaches: ‘It’s going to be a bad one’


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