Roy told CNN that he had evacuated his home and was staying with a cousin on higher ground. He had no idea Saturday night if his home was still standing and emergency crews stopped him from getting there to check. It is not safe to do so, they warned.
Photos by another area resident, Terry Osmond, show a a collapsed building in Channel-Port aux Basques, surrounded by seawater on the shore, and broken wood and other debris were strewn across the town.
“Never in my lifetime” has there been “so much destruction … in our area,” Osmond, 62, wrote to CNN.
A city woman was rescued from water Saturday afternoon after her home collapsed, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said. She was taken to hospital; The extent of her injuries was not immediately known, police said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday afternoon that the government was assessing damage from the storm, but authorities had already begun helping affected communities, including approving Nova Scotia’s request for federal aid. The Canadian Armed Forces will also be deployed to the region to help with damage assessment and cleanup, Trudeau said.
The devastation is “breathtaking,” the mayor says
Restoring power is among authorities’ top priorities, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said at a news conference Saturday, describing the “shocking” damage across the province, including communities where roads were washed away and power lines downed.
But weather conditions were still too severe in many areas Saturday night for crews to begin assessing and repairing damage, Nova Scotia Power president and CEO Peter Gregg said. More than 900 power technicians were en route to the area, but with parts of the province still experiencing storm conditions, Gregg added that some customers could experience power outages for several days.
West of the landfall, in Nova Scotia’s capital, Halifax, the roof of an apartment complex collapsed, forcing about 100 people into shelters, Mayor Mike Savage told CNN on Saturday.
“The scale of this storm is breathtaking,” Savage said later at Saturday’s press conference. “It turned out everything was planned.
Halifax officials said Saturday afternoon’s strong winds and risks of coastal flooding remained through the end of the day and urged residents to stay off the roads while cleanup efforts were underway.
“Conditions are like nothing we’ve ever seen,” Charlottetown police tweeted early Saturday.
What could be next
“Rough and pounding” surf continued for parts of Nova Scotia, the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence and Newfoundland, and coastal flooding is still a threat to areas of eastern Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, including Northumberland Sound, Ile de la Madeleine and southwestern Newfoundland, the center added.
“Coastal flooding is also possible for the mouth of St. Lawrence and the lower north shore of Quebec,” the release said.
Hurricane-force and gale-force winds are expected to continue blowing across parts of Atlantic Canada into early Sunday, the US National Hurricane Center said Saturday night.
Saturday morning, hurricane gusts have been reported in parts of Maritime Canada, typically ranging from 70 to 95 mph (110 to more than 150 km/h). The highest gust by mid-morning was 111 mph (179 kmph) in Arisaig, Nova Scotia, according to Environment Canada.
An unofficial barometric pressure of 931.6 mb was recorded on Saturday on Hart Island, which would make Fiona the lowest-pressure storm to make landfall in Canada on record, according to the Canadian Hurricane Centre.
Alison Chinchar, Hannah Sarrison, Sharif Padgett, Derek Van Dam, Haley Brink, Aya Elamrousi, Taylor Ward, Teresa Waldrop and Tina Burnside contributed to this report from CNN.