Cory Jennings-DuBois | News Editor
From Puerto Rico to the Atlantic Coast of Canada, Hurricane Fiona is leaving a devastating path of destruction in her wake. Costing more than $100 million in repairs and taking 8 lives as of present time, Fiona has no limits and continues to demolish the lives of many.
Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico on September 18, 2022, just 5 years after Hurricane Maria swept in and wreaked havoc on the island. Fiona was expected to stay as a tropical cyclone, but quickly escalated into a category 4 storm. The people of Puerto Rico were finally returning to normal life when the hurricane brought on an average of 16 inches of rain. People on the island are trying to quickly recover their waterlogged homes and salvage what has not yet been lost, though many are struggling to find proper help and resources, as more than 900,000 citizens are without power.
President Joe Biden has declared that the mainland will be a prime resource for Puerto Ricans to use in order to recover their island. His briefing on Thursday, September 22 consisted of his promises to commit all federal funding to aid the island with debris removal, power restoration, and speedy rescue operations, which is desperately needed as post hurricane conditions worsen.
Though the mainland came close to being struck by this disastrous storm, luck was on the United States’ side, as Fiona skirted the outsides of the East Coast Atlantic. Canada, however, was not so fortunate.
Meteorologist Ian Hubbard, who works for the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, announced that “This is definitely going to be one of, if not the most powerful, tropical cyclones to affect our part of the country”. Even though when Fiona reached Canada, she finally cooled down enough to be a tropical storm, she has no less mercy when it comes to tearing apart anything in her wake. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians on the Atlantic sides of the country are without power, and remnants of trees, power lines, and even houses have been swept into the water. Canadian officials haven’t yet shared fatality and injury tolls, but one can assume they would be great in number considering the extensive damage brought by Fiona to the country of Canada.
The area of Port aux Basques, with a population of 4,067, resides on the most southwest area of Newfoundland. Port aux Basques has experienced extreme flooding, and officials have confirmed that at least 20 homes, office buildings, and businesses have been lost to the hands of the storm.
As stated previously, death and injury tolls have not yet been announced, but there have been reports of citizen rescue missions caused by the extensive flooding. One woman was thrown into the water due to extreme wind speeds and her home collapsing, while another was swept out from her basement and into the flood. The later has not yet been found, but conditions are too severe to start conducting a search.
If conditions do not allow rescue for lost people, they certainly don’t allow for restoration quite yet. Power and construction companies say that their main dilemma is the high wind speeds, as that hinders the companies’ ability to restore power lines and mend the torn-up cities.
It is too early in the process to determine just how great the cost and the time it will take to mend these countries will take, but when it comes to damage caused by extreme weather, countries will come together to try to correct what Mother Nature has brought upon them.