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Canada tries to restore power after former hurricane Fiona

The army will help remove fallen trees and restore transportation links in eastern Canada amid the damage caused by hurricane Fiona.

September 26, 2022
26 September 2022

Hundreds of thousands of people in Atlantic Canada remain without power as officials try to assess the scope of devastation from former hurricane Fiona, which swept away houses, stripped off roofs and blocked roads across the country’s eastern provinces.

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

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

She did not specify how many troops would be deployed.

Fiona was blamed for at least five deaths in the Caribbean and, while there were no confirmed fatalities in Canada, authorities on Sunday were searching for a 73-year-old woman missing in the hardest hit town of Channel-Port Aux Basques on the southern coast of Newfoundland.

“She’s likely washed out to sea but we haven’t been able to confirm that,” a spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.

Police said the woman was last seen inside the residence moments before a wave struck the home on Saturday morning, tearing away a portion of the basement.

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.

More than 415,000 Nova Scotia Power customers – about 80 per cent in the province of almost one million people – had been affected by outages on Saturday.

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 is inaccessible and the tower has significant damage.

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