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 Saturday as a post-tropical cyclone, battering Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec with hurricane-strength winds, heavy rains and huge waves.
Defense Minister Anita Anand said Saturday that troops would help remove fallen trees and other debris, restore transportation links and do whatever else is required for as long as it takes. 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. There’s an apartment that is gone,” René J. Roy, chief editor at Wreckhouse Press and a resident of the twon, said in a phone interview.
Roy estimated between eight to 12 houses and buildings had washed into the sea. “It’s quite terrifying,” he said.
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.
As the extent of damage became clear, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau canceled his trip to Japan for the funeral for assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.