Multiple islands have felt the wrath of Hurricane Fiona all week. Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republican were two of the first to be hit, followed most recently by Bermuda. While the eye of the hurricane missed Bermuda, outer portions of the system still caused havoc on the island. Fiona was downgraded to a category three according to the National Hurricane Center but still packed a punch with winds of 125 miles per hour.
Right now, eyes are focused on where the storm is headed next. Canada is making preparations as Fiona is expected to hit the region Saturday. More specifically, Nova Scotia is positioned to take the initial hit. It is a storm system that meteorologists have described as unprecedented in this area even though it is projected to downgrade back to a tropical storm by landfall. Officials are projecting widespread power outages and thousands of trees down, which have potentially deadly consequences. Some officials said this could be Canada’s strongest storm ever.
“Every Nova Scotian should be preparing today and bracing for impact,” John Lohr, the minister responsible for the provincial Emergency Management Office, said in a Thursday news conference. “The storm is expected to bring severe and damaging wind gusts, very high waves, and coastal storm surges, intense and dangerous rainfall rates and prolonged power outages. The time to get ready is now before Fiona hits tomorrow evening.”
While the continental United States not been hit, Puerto Rico took a major damage earlier in the week. Hundreds of thousands of people still have no electricity or running water five days later. It is a familiar story for Puerto Rico, which has struggled in prior hurricane seasons to keep the lights on for its residents. President Joe Biden spoke to Puerto Rican officials this week where he promised aid is on the way.
“I approved that declaration of disaster, the emergency disaster declaration, bringing the full force of the federal government to respond, knowing full well the catastrophic effects, how catastrophic they could be on communities that haven’t even fully recovered from the last time,” President Biden said, referring to Hurricane Maria from five years ago. “We’re surging federal resources to Puerto Rico and we’ll do everything we can to meet the urgent need you have, and we know they’re real, and they’re significant. We are with you. We’re not going to walk away. We really mean it.”
We are right in the midst of peak hurricane season with a full two months still left to go. Meteorologists are slowly turning their attention to three other tropical systems taking form in the Atlantic.