Canadian troops are being sent to assist the recovery from the devastation of storm Fiona, which swept away houses, stripped off roofs and knocked out power across the country’s Atlantic provinces.
After surging north from the Caribbean as a hurricane, 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, heavy rains and huge waves.
The defense minister, Anita Anand, said on Saturday that troops would help remove fallen trees and other debris, restore transportation links and do whatever else was required for as long as it took. She didn’t specify how many troops would be deployed.
Fiona was blamed for at least five deaths in the Caribbean, but there was no confirmation of any fatalities or serious injuries in Canada. Police said a woman who might have been swept away was listed as missing in the town of Channel-Port Aux Basques on the southern coast of Newfoundland.
Raging surf pounded Port Aux Basques and entire structures were washed into the sea.
“I’m seeing homes in the ocean, I’m seeing rubble floating all over the place – it’s complete and utter destruction,” René J. Roy, chief editor at Wreckhouse Press and a resident of the town, said in a phone interview. “There’s an apartment that is gone.”
Roy estimated between eight and 12 houses and buildings had washed into the sea. “It’s quite terrifying.”
The Royal Canadian mounted police said the town of 4,000 people was in a state of emergency with multiple electrical fires and residential flooding.