(CNN) — Deadly Hurricane Fiona, which devastated several island nations in the Caribbean this week, is now impacting Bermuda just before hitting Canada this weekend, where residents have been warned to prepare for dangerously high winds and heavy rain.
Officials in Bermuda, as well as Nova Scotia and Canada’s Prince Edward Island, have urged those in the hurricane’s path to remain on high alert and prepare 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 projected to be a significant and historic weather event for Nova Scotia,” said John Lohr, minister responsible for the province’s Office of Emergency Management.
“It has the potential to be very dangerous. Impacts are forecast to be widespread throughout the province. All Nova Scotians should prepare,” Lohr added during an official update on Thursday.
Residents can expect damaging winds, high waves, coastal storm surge and heavy rain that can lead to prolonged power outages, Lohr warned. Emergency officials have encouraged people to secure outdoor items, trim trees, charge their cell phones and create a 72-hour emergency kit.
Fiona was downgraded to a powerful Category 3 hurricane early Friday as it passed near Bermuda overnight, according to the National Hurricane Center. It had sustained winds of 200 km/h with higher gusts, the agency said.
The center of the storm was about 250 kilometers northwest of Bermuda and hurricane-force winds were felt on the island.
“After Fiona passes Bermuda, it is forecast to hit Nova Scotia later this Saturday. Fiona will become extratropical before impact, but that won’t hamper the damage it will cause,” said Robert Shackelford, a CNN meteorologist.
Across Atlantic Canada, winds could be around 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 Michael Weeks, the island’s minister of homeland security.
In Canada, there are already hurricane warnings for Nova Scotia from Hubbards to Brule and in Newfoundland from Parson’s Pond to Francois. Prince Edward Island and Madeleine Island also have warnings.
Prince Edward Island officials implore residents to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, as Fiona draws closer.
Tanya Mullally, the province’s chief emergency management officer, said one of the most pressing concerns about Fiona is the historic storm surge she is expected to unleash.
“Storm surge will certainly be significant… Flooding that we have not seen and cannot measure,” Mullally warned Thursday during an update.
He also noted that the northern part of the island will face the brunt of the storm due to the direction of the winds. Which will likely cause property damage and coastal flooding.
Fiona’s power outages continue
Earlier this week, Fiona leveled homes and affected critical power and water infrastructure for millions of people in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Days after Puerto Rico suffered an island-wide blackout when the hurricane made landfall on Sunday, only 38% of customers had their power back by Thursday, according to LUMA Energy, the power grid operator.
Additionally, the massive power outage comes as much of Puerto Rico is facing extreme heat, leading temperatures to hit 110 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
Daniel Hernández, director of renewable projects at LUMA, explained that critical places, such as hospitals, will be prioritized before repairs can 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 have service as soon as possible,” Hernández insisted.
Nearly 360,000 customers had intermittent or suspended piped water service as of Thursday night, according to the government’s emergency portal system.
Until this Wednesday, more than 800 people were housed in dozens of shelters throughout the island, according to the Secretary of Housing of Puerto Rico, William Rodríguez.
President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Puerto Rico, FEMA said. The measure allows residents to access grants for temporary housing and home repairs, as well as low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses.
In the Dominican Republic, Fiona affected 8,708 homes and destroyed another 2,262, according to the nation’s head of emergency operations, Maj. Gen. Juan Méndez García.
Mendez said more than 210,000 homes and businesses were still without power as of Thursday, and another 725,246 customers were without running water.
“This was something incredible that we had never seen before,” Ramona Santana told CNN en Español in Higüey, Dominican Republic this week. “We are on the streets with nothing, no food, no shoes, no clothes, just what you are wearing. .. We have nothing. We have God, and hope that help will come,” she added.
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, specifically Grand Turk, South Caicos, Salt Cay, North Caicos and Middle Caicos, said Anya Williams, interim governor of the islands.
Melissa Alonso, Ana Melgar Zúñiga and Amanda Musa, all of CNN, contributed to this report.