(CNN) – Deadly Hurricane Fiona, which devastated several island nations in the Caribbean this week, is now affecting Bermuda just before hitting Canada later this week, with residents prepared for dangerously strong winds and heavy rain. A warning has been given to stay.
Officials in Bermuda, as well as Nova Scotia and Canada’s Prince Edward Island, have urged those in the path of the storm to be on high alert and prepared for its impact. Fiona has already claimed the lives of at least five people and caused power outages for millions this week alone.
“Fiona is forecast to be a significant and historic weather event for Nova Scotia,” said John Lohr, the minister responsible for the province’s Office of Emergency Management.
“It has the potential to be very dangerous. It is expected to have widespread effects across the province. All Nova Scotians should prepare,” Lohr added during an official update on Thursday.
Lohr warned that residents could expect destructive winds, high waves, coastal storms and heavy rain that could lead to prolonged power outages. Emergency officials have encouraged people to secure outdoor objects, cut down trees, charge their cell phones, and create a 72-hour emergency kit.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Fiona was downgraded to a powerful Category 3 hurricane early Friday as it passed near Bermuda overnight. The agency said that strong winds were accompanied by winds gusting up to 200 km/h.
The center of the storm was about 250 km northwest of Bermuda and hurricane-force winds were felt over the island.
CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford said, “After Fiona passes through Bermuda, it is forecast to hit Nova Scotia later this Saturday. Fiona will become extra-tropical before impact, but it will not hinder the damage caused.” “
Across Atlantic Canada, winds could be about 100 mph (160 km/h) when Fiona makes landfall in Nova Scotia, Shackelford said.
Bermuda, which is under a hurricane warning, closed schools and government offices on Friday to prepare for the storm, according to the island’s Homeland Security Minister Michael Weeks.
In Canada, hurricane warnings are already in place for Nova Scotia from Hubbards to Brulee and from Parsons Pond to Francois in Newfoundland. There are also warnings in Prince Edward Island and Madeleine Island.
Prince Edward Island officials urged residents to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, as Fiona draws to a close.
The province’s chief emergency management officer, Tanya Mullally, said one of the most pressing concerns about Fiona is the historic storm she is expected to leave.
“The storm will certainly be significant … flooding that we have not seen and cannot measure,” Mullally warned during an update on Thursday.
He also said that the northern part of the island would bear the brunt of the storm due to the direction of the winds. This will potentially cause property damage and coastal flooding.
Fiona’s power cuts continue
Earlier this week, Fiona leveled homes for millions of people in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands and affected critical electricity and water infrastructure.
Puerto Rico suffered an island-wide blackout when the storm hit Sunday, according to power grid operator, LUMA Energy, with only 38% of customers having their own power as of Thursday.
Additionally, the massive power outage comes as Puerto Rico is experiencing extreme heat, with temperatures reaching 110 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
Daniel Hernandez, director of renewable projects at LUMA, explained that priority will be given to critical locations, such as hospitals, before repairs begin at the individual level.
“This is a normal process. The important thing is that everyone is calm… We are working so that 100% of customers are served as quickly as possible,” Hernandez insisted.
About 360,000 customers had intermittent or suspended piped water service as of Thursday night, according to the government’s emergency portal system.
As of this Wednesday, more than 800 people were housed in dozens of shelters across the island, according to Puerto Rico’s Housing Secretary William Rodriguez.
FEMA said President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Puerto Rico. This measure allows residents to receive grants for temporary housing and home repairs, as well as low-interest loans to cover uninsured property damage.
In the Dominican Republic, Fiona affected 8,708 homes and destroyed another 2,262, according to Major General Juan Mendez García, the country’s head of emergency operations.
Mendez said more than 210,000 homes and businesses had no electricity as of Thursday, and another 725,246 customers were running without water.
“It was something incredible that we had never seen before,” Ramona Santana told CNN en Espaol this week in Higuay, Dominican Republic. “We’re in the streets with nothing, no food, no shoes, no clothes, just what you’re wearing… we have nothing. We have God and hopefully there will be help.”
Fiona also threatened parts of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday, and parts of the British mainland were still without power earlier this week, notably Grand Turk, South Caicos, of Salt, North Caicos and Middle Caicos, said Anya Williams, interim governor. island.
Melissa Alonso, Anna Melgar Zuniga and Amanda Moses, all of CNN’s, contributed to this report.