Hurricane Fiona was the costliest extreme weather event ever recorded in Atlantic Canada, with an estimated $660 million in insured damages, according to an initial report from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).
Fiona damage costs by province
A breakdown of damage costs per province (April Walker/The Weather Network)
The report breaks down damage costs per province as follows:
Nova Scotia: Over $385 million in insured damages. Cape Breton Island and Pictou County were among the hardest hit in Nova Scotia, enduring extensive flooding, washed-out roads, storm surge, and significant structural damages.
Prince Edward Island: Over $220 million in insured damages. Damage was reported in every community in P.E.I. In some areas, houses were moved off their foundations by storm surge. Power outages impacted 95 per cent of total customers on the island.
New Brunswick: Over $30 million in insured damages. Downed trees and widespread power outages were widely reported.
Quebec: Over $11 million in insured damages. The Iles-de-la-Madeleine was hit with significant floods, while storm surge caused erosion along the Gaspé Peninsula coast.
Newfoundland and Labrador: Over $7 million in insured damages. Burgeo to Port aux Basques bore the brunt of the storm in Newfoundland and Labrador, with an estimated 20 homes washed into the ocean, killing at least one person. Nearly 200 people were evacuated from their homes.
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Government to cover the bulk of the costs
Insurance companies won't cover the majority of the restoration efforts. In a statement, The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) says many of the affected residents "were located in high-risk flood areas and floodplains where residential flood insurance coverage is not available" meaning the government will shoulder the costs.
Since 2008, severe weather-related insurance claims have quadrupled, the IBC says, with the "new normal" reaching $2 billion annually.
By all accounts, Fiona was a historic storm, making landfall on Nova Scotia’s Canso Peninsula in the early hours of September 24, with a verified minimum pressure of 932.6 mb, making it deepest low-pressure system ever recorded on Canadian soil.
Arisaig, Nova Scotia recorded a peak wind gust of 179 km/h - more than strong enough to uproot trees and damage homes. Substantial rainfall hit Atlantic Canada. In Osborne Head, Nova Scotia 192 mm accumulated - the most in the region.
The Port aux Basques station recorded its highest water level on record at 2.75 metres, replacing the 2017 record of 2.17 metres.
VIDEO: Shocking before and after photos of Fiona
Thumbnail image: Downed tree in Carlottetown, PEI (Jaclyn Whittal/The Weather Network)