The Canadian Hurricane Center is providing an update today on Hurricane Fiona which continues to churn towards Atlantic Canada.
The last Tropical Cyclone Information Statement issued last night showed that the storm was southwest of Bermuda and moving northward at about 19 km/h with maximum sustained winds of 213 km/h.
Environment Canada is warning of potentially severe impacts from the storm for much of Atlantic Canada including Newfoundland and Labrador.
By Friday night Hurricane Fiona will be south of Nova Scotia and cutting up through the Gulf of St. Lawrence Saturday, reaching southeastern Labrador early Sunday. Fiona will bring hurricane-force winds and significant rainfall – up to 200 mm in the storm’s path—with a high likelihood of flooding. The Maritimes will get the heaviest of the rain while the major impact on Newfoundland will be the high winds and storm surge. Particularly vulnerable will be western Newfoundland, southwestern Newfoundland and south-facing coastal areas.
Today’s update from the Canadian Hurricane Center is coming at 1:30 this afternoon. VOCM News will carry the news conference immediately following On Target.
The City of Corner Brook is preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Fiona.
The latest hurricane track indicates that the large and powerful storm is headed straight for the area overnight Friday and into Saturday.
The city outlines numerous proactive measures they have taken ahead of Fiona’s arrival, including clearing priority catch basins and headwalls, outfitting public works trucks with flood control tools and sandbags, and adjusting staffing levels to meet the need.
They are asking residents and business owners to check their catch basins, trim trees, secure outdoor items that may blow away, and ensure that they are prepared in the event of a power outage.
During the storm, residents can call 637-1666 to report flooding or damaged city infrastructure.
Area MHA Gerry Byrne says the name of the game right now is vigilance.
He says crews need to be able to react quickly, and they need to get the message out to residents about how to stay safe during the storm.
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is gearing up for Hurricane Fiona by having crews and contractors at the ready. Hydro manufactures about 90 per cent of the electricity used on the island and says it has about 60 per cent extra capacity should the need arise. That amounts to about 400 to 500 megawatts.
The Crown corporation is the retail supplier to all of Labrador as well as some remote parts of Newfoundland.
Scott Crosbie, VP Operations at NL Hydro, says they have gas turbines in Stephenville, Holyrood and just outside St. John’s at Hardwoods, and could add thermal generation at Holyrood if need be.
Gas turbines offer a very quick start but thermal generation at the plant in Holyrood could take hours, even days.