World Officials recover body of elderly woman swept to sea...

Officials recover body of elderly woman swept to sea by Fiona in Newfoundland

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Sept. 26 (BP) — Authorities in Newfoundland have recovered the body of a 73-year-old woman who was swept away from her home by a giant wave as post-tropical storm Fiona came ashore early Saturday.

The storm is blamed for at least five deaths in the Caribbean last week before slamming into Canada’s Atlantic coast overnight Saturday, washing away entire homes, knocking down trees and scattering debris that blocked miles of roads.

The unidentified woman from Channel-Port aux Basques was killed early Saturday when a wave crashed into her home as she was preparing to evacuate, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement. Rescue teams recovered her body shortly before 4 p.m. the next day.

Meanwhile, power went out to nearly a million homes and businesses across Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec and remained without electricity Monday as the Canadian military moved in to assist with rescue and recovery efforts. Utility officials said it could be days before power is restored.

Nova Scotia appeared to be one of the hardest hit areas, with more than 197,000 households still without power, compared to nearly 81,000 in Prince Edward Island; more than 13,000 were still in the dark in New Brunswick; while more than 1,500 homes were still affected in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Many bridges were destroyed throughout the region, and the main road to Cape Breton Island’s airport in Nova Scotia was said to be impassable.

Residents began the cleanup process Sunday morning, searching through the debris for family heirlooms and belongings as hundreds of temporary shelters were set up for the displaced.

Officials assessing the damage said much of Fiona’s damage had been caused by a powerful storm surge, with waves possibly as high as 52 feet.

Environment Canada said Fiona set a record for storm surge at 9 feet, about 3.5 feet higher than normal.

Public schools have been widely canceled amid the disaster.

Over the weekend, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said federal aid was already in the works for the entire region.

“Hurricane Fiona is having a terrible impact on Atlantic Canada and Quebec,” he tweeted. “As Canadians, we will be there for each other – and as a government, we will match any donations Canadians and corporations make to [Red Cross Canada] over the next 30 days.”

Fiona pummeled Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and other areas of the Caribbean last week. In Puerto Rico, more than 1.3 million residents lost power due to the storm. On Sunday, there were more than 770,000 customers without electricity.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico on Wednesday and President Joe Biden promised federal funding to the island.

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