Canada tries to restore power, roads after Fiona

Hundreds of thousands of people in Atlantic Canada remain without power, while officials have recovered the body of a woman swept into the sea after former Hurricane Fiona washed away houses, stripped off roofs and blocked roads across the country’s Atlantic provinces.

After surging north from the Caribbean, Fiona came ashore before dawn on Saturday (local time) as a post-tropical cyclone, battering Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec with hurricane-strength winds, rains and waves.

Canadian police found the body of a 73-year-old woman in the water on Sunday after she went missing in Channel-Port Aux Basques, a town on the southern coast of Newfoundland.

They said the woman was inside her home when a wave struck on Saturday, tearing away a portion of the basement.

Defence Minister Anita Anand said troops would help remove fallen trees throughout eastern Canada, restore transportation links and do whatever else was required for as long as it took.

She did not specify how many troops would be deployed.

As of Sunday, more than 252,000 Nova Scotia Power customers and about 82,000 Maritime Electric customers in the province of Prince Edward Island – about 95 per cent of the total – remained in the dark.

So were more than 20,600 homes and businesses in New Brunswick.

Utility companies say it could be days before the lights are back on for everyone.

Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Amanda McDougall said on Sunday that more than 200 people were in temporary shelters.

About 70 roads were completely inaccessible in her region, which declared a state of emergency.

She said she could not count the number of homes damaged in her own neighbourhood.

She said it was critical for the military to arrive and help clear debris, noting that the road to the airport was inaccessible and the tower had significant damage.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre tweeted that Fiona had the lowest pressure – a key sign of storm strength – yet recorded for a storm making landfall in Canada.


Topics: Canada
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