(CNN) – Deadly Hurricane Fiona, which devastated several Caribbean island nations this week, is now affecting Bermuda before hitting Canada this weekend, with residents being warned to prepare for strong winds and torrential rain.
Officials in Bermuda, as well as Nova Scotia and Canada’s Prince Edward Island, urged those in the path of the hurricane to remain on high alert and prepare for its impact. Fiona has already claimed at least five lives and left millions without power this week alone.
“Fiona is expected to be a significant and historic weather event for Nova Scotia,” said John Loehr, the minister in charge of the county’s office of emergency management.
“It is potentially very dangerous. The effects are expected to spread throughout the province. All Nova Scotia residents must prepare,” Loehr added during an official update Thursday.
Loehr warned that residents could expect damaging winds, high waves, coastal storms and torrential rain that could lead to prolonged power outages. Emergency officials encouraged people to secure outdoor materials, trim trees, charge their cell phones, and set up a 72-hour emergency kit.
Fiona was downgraded to a strong Category 3 hurricane early Friday as it passed near Bermuda overnight, according to the National Hurricane Center. The agency added that the wind was hit with winds of 200 kilometers per hour with higher gusts.
The center of the storm was about 250 km northwest of Bermuda, and hurricane-force winds were felt on the island.
“After Fiona passes Bermuda, it’s expected to hit Nova Scotia later this Saturday. Fiona will be extratropical before impact, but that won’t hinder the damage it will do,” said CNN meteorologist Robert Shackleford.
Across Canada’s Atlantic Ocean, winds can be around 100 mph (160 km/h) when Fiona makes landfall in Nova Scotia, Shackleford said.
Michael Weeks, the island’s homeland security secretary, said Bermuda, which is under a hurricane warning, closed schools and government offices Friday in preparation for the storm.
In Canada, there are already Nova Scotia hurricane warnings from Hubbards to Brule and in Newfoundland from Parson Pond to Francois. Prince Edward Island and Madeleine Island also have warnings.
Prince Edward Island officials are pleading with residents to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, as Fiona approaches.
One of the most pressing concerns about Fiona is the historic storm she is expected to unleash, said Tanya Mullally, the county’s chief emergency management official.
Mullally warned Thursday during an update: “The eruption of the storm will certainly be significant… floods that we haven’t seen and can’t measure.”
He also indicated that the northern part of the island will face the brunt of the storm due to the direction of the winds. Which is likely to cause property damage and coastal flooding.
Power outages continue in Fiona
Earlier this week, Fiona destroyed 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 experienced an island-wide power outage when the hurricane made landfall Sunday, only 38% of customers had regained power by Thursday, according to LUMA Energy, the power grid operator.
In addition, the massive blackout comes as Puerto Rico experiences sweltering heat, sending temperatures soaring to 110 degrees Fahrenheit Thursday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
Daniel Hernandez, director of renewable energy projects at LUMA, explained that sensitive places, such as hospitals, will be prioritized before repairs begin at the individual level.
“This is a normal process,” Hernandez insisted. “The important thing is for everyone to be calm… We’re working so that 100% of customers get service as quickly as possible.”
Nearly 360,000 customers had intermittent or halted water service as of Thursday night, according to the government’s emergency gate system.
As of Wednesday, more than 800 people were housed in dozens of shelters across the island, according to Puerto Rico’s Minister of Housing, William Rodriguez.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said President Joe Biden has agreed to declare a major disaster for Puerto Rico. The measure allows residents to obtain grants for temporary housing and home repair, as well as low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses.
In the Dominican Republic, Fiona affected 8,708 homes and destroyed 2,262 more, according to the country’s head of emergency operations, Major General Juan Mendes Garcia.
More than 210,000 homes and businesses were still without power as of Thursday, Mendes said, and another 725,246 customers were without running water.
“It was an incredible thing we hadn’t seen before,” Ramona Santana told CNN en Español in Higuey, Dominican Republic this week. “We are in the streets with nothing, no food, no shoes, no clothes, only what to wear.. we have nothing. We have God and hope for help.”
Fiona also threatened parts of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday, and parts of the British mainland remain without power earlier this week, specifically Grand Turk, South Caicos, Salt Cay, North Caicos and Central Caicos, according to Anya Williams, interim governor Island State.
Melissa Alonso, Anna Melgar Zuniga and Amanda Musa, all of CNN, contributed to this report.