After powerful storm Fiona left a trail of destruction in Canada’s east coast on Saturday (September 24), the focus shifted to clean-up efforts, damage assessment and restoration of power and telecom services as officials warned of a long road to recovery.
The historic storm slammed into eastern Canada with hurricane-force winds, forcing evacuations, uprooting trees and powerlines, and reducing many homes to “just a pile of rubble.”
The Canadian Hurricane Centre estimated that Fiona was the lowest pressured land falling storm on record in Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadian armed forces will be deployed to help with the clean-up, adding that Fiona caused significant damage and recovery will require a big effort.
Despite the intensity of the storm, there were no serious injuries or deaths, which government officials said was a result of residents paying heed to the repeated warnings.
Still, thousands of residents across Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Newfoundland were without power and dealing with patchy telecom connections, and government officials pleaded with residents for patience.
They warned that in some cases it would take weeks before essential services are fully restored.
Government officials said the full-scale of the destruction will only be known in the coming days and weeks. But with the storm packing gusts of up to 170 km/hour sweeping away homes, bridges and roads, Fiona was reminiscent of the damage caused by other storms, including Hurricane Dorian in 2019, which is estimated to have had an insurance bill of C$105 million.