Strong rains and winds lashed the Atlantic Canada region as Fiona closed in early Saturday as a big, powerful post-tropical cyclone, and Canadian forecasters warned it could be one of the most severe storms in the country’s history.
Fiona transformed from a hurricane into a post-tropical storm late Friday, but meteorologists cautioned that it still could have hurricane-strength winds and would bring drenching rains and huge waves.
More than 250,000 Nova Scotia Power customers, about half of all customers in the province, were affected by outages just past 1am local time.
The tally rose by another 28,000 by the end of the hour.
The fast-moving Fiona was forecast to make landfall in Nova Scotia before dawn Saturday, with its power down from the Category 4 strength it had early Friday when passing by Bermuda, though officials there reported no serious damage.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre issued a hurricane watch for coastal expanses of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.
The US National Hurricane Centre said Fiona should reach the area as a “large and powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds”.
“It’s going to a bad one,” said prime minister Justin Trudeau, who decided to delay his trip to Japan for the funeral for assassinated former prime minister Shinzo Abe.
“We of course hope there won’t be much needed, but we feel there probably will be,” Mr Trudeau said.
“Listen to the instructions of local authorities and hang in there for the next 24 hours.”