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Eastern Canada begins assessing the full scope of Fiona's damage

As post-tropical storm Fiona continued to hammer parts of Newfoundland and Labrador and eastern Quebec with powerful winds and significant storm surge early Sunday, officials across Eastern Canada prepared to begin assessing the full scope of the damage.

More than 380,000 customers without power across the 4 Atlantic Provinces

Fallen trees lean against a house in Sydney, N.S., on Saturday. Government officials are preparing to survey the damage left behind in four provinces. (Vaughan Merchant/The Canadian Press)

As post-tropical storm Fiona continued to hammer parts of Newfoundland and Labrador and eastern Quebec with powerful winds and significant storm surge early Sunday, officials across Eastern Canada prepared to begin assessing the full scope of the damage.

As of 4 a.m. AT, nearly 275,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were still affected by outages, 82,415 Maritime Electric customers remained in the dark on P.E.I. and more than 21,000 homes and businesses in New Brunswick were without power, with some provincial utility companies warning it could be days before the lights are back on for everyone.

Newfoundland Power reported outages affecting more than 3,600 customers, as high-end tropical storm force winds knocked down trees and power lines.

Fiona made landfall in eastern Nova Scotia early on Saturday. Environment Canada issued an update early Sunday morning saying Fiona was centred over the northeastern Gulf of St. Lawrence, and was tracking north-northeastward over southeastern Quebec and southeastern Labrador. The agency said the storm was then expected to move into the Labrador Sea and dissipate.

N.S. premier to tour damage by helicopter

As Fiona continued its path eastward, government officials prepared to survey the damage left behind.

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston, along with several members of his cabinet, were scheduled to tour some of the hardest hit areas of Cape Breton by helicopter Sunday morning.

Nova Scotia Power says some customers in the province will be without power for multiple days.

Christina Lamey, a spokesperson for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said hundreds of people have been displaced by the storm.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who cancelled his planned visit to Japan for the state funeral of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, said he will visit as soon as possible, while noting he doesn't want to displace any emergency teams who are focused on important work on the ground.

Defence Minister Anita Anand said Saturday members of the Canadian Armed Forces had begun preparing to respond before receiving the request for assistance from Nova Scotia, and troops will be deployed to other provinces that ask for help.

No details were provided on the number of troops being deployed, but Anand said reconnaissance was underway to ensure they go where and when they are needed most.

Communities in southwestern Newfoundland also suffered significant damage, including lost homes, flooding and road washouts due to the storm.

The town of Port aux Basques appears to be hit the worst after Fiona's winds and storm surge swept buildings into the ocean. Mayor Brian Button said at least 20 homes are either completely gone or destroyed beyond repair. He said dozens of people have been displaced and the town remains under a state of emergency.

Some of the damage in Port aux Basques, N.L., caused by post tropical storm Fiona is shown in this handout photo provided by Wreckhouse Press on Saturday. (Rosalyn Roy/Wreckhouse Press/The Canadian Press)

 

With files from CBC News

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