One Woman Rescued, Second Missing After Fiona Washes Homes to Sea: RCMP

Two women were swept out to sea after their residences collapsed from the destructive force of post-tropical storm Fiona, police in Newfoundland and Labrador said.

RCMP Cpl. Jolene Garland said the first woman was rescued by local residents in Port aux Basques and is believed to be fine after receiving medical attention.

The whereabouts of the second woman, who was swept into the Gulf of St. Lawrence under similar circumstances, is still unknown.

“We have a report about another woman who was believed to be swept out into the ocean as her residence was damaged as well—apparently swept out from the basement,” said Garland in an interview with The Canadian Press.

The media officer said the high winds and surging water levels are making it too risky for officers to conduct a search.

“It’s too dangerous for us to enter into a search for that woman at this point,” she said. “We can’t substantiate her current location.”

Both incidents were reported between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. local time, when a storm surge raised water levels at Port aux Basques to a record level. At the time, two peak gusts were recorded at 133 kilometres per hour, according to the weather office in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The town had declared a state of emergency earlier in the day.

In a Facebook Live broadcast in the morning, Brian Button, the mayor of Port aux Basques, pleaded with residents to stop roaming around the streets and to seek higher ground if their residences are at risk from the storm.

“So anybody that’s being told to leave their homes, you need to leave,” Button said. “There are no ifs, ands, or buts, you need to leave.”

He warned that if they don’t leave, the evacuation team will not be able to get them out of there when there’s a need to.

“A house can be replaced but you can’t be, so you need to go and … we’ve already had houses and things that have been washed away, so we need you to go now,” the mayor said.

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia officials updated in a briefing in the afternoon that the province has reached out to the federal government for military and disaster financial assistance.

“This storm is on the magnitude or maybe larger than Dorian, and we know we will need [the assistance] now to help get power to connect it back up to everyone,” said John Lohr, minister responsible for the Office of Emergency Management.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government “stands ready” to support the affected provinces with additional resources after he convened a meeting with the Incident Response Group on Hurricane Fiona in the morning.

“I’m thinking of everyone affected by Hurricane Fiona—I want you to know that we’re here for you,” he said on Twitter.

Other Nova Scotia officials described the impact of Fiona that snapped power poles and trees, leaving three-quarters of their residents without power as of the afternoon.

Erica Fleck, assistant chief of emergency management at Halifax regional municipality, said 160 people were evacuated from two apartment buildings that were severely damaged. Halifax Mayor Mike Savage added that one of the buildings had its roof collapsed due to the storm.

Bob Robichaud, a warning preparedness meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Centre, said in the briefing that wind speeds are still strong in northern parts of the province as of this afternoon.

“We’re still seeing gusts into warning criteria, which is over 90 km/h in parts of northern mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton,” he said, adding that conditions should improve gradually but it’s still going to be “fairly gusty” in the evening.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, had said Fiona set an unofficial record for the lowest-ever barometric pressure for a tropical storm making landfall in Canada. The recorded pressure at Hart Island was 931.6 millibars.

“The pressure of a storm is a very good indication of its intensity—how strong and intense the winds will be,” said meteorologist Ian Hubbard. “The deeper the pressure, the more intense it’s going to be.”

The Canadian Press contributed to this report.


Isaac Teo is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.


You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes