(CNN) — The hurricane fionanow known as a post-tropical cyclone, it made landfall in Nova Scotia and crossed Canada’s Atlantic coast early Saturday in what could be a “historic” weather event for the country.
An unofficial barometric pressure of 931.6 mb was recorded on Hart Island, which would make Fiona the lowest-pressure landfall storm ever in Canada, according to the Canadian Hurricane Center. Wind observations on Beaver Island in eastern Nova Scotia were recorded at a speed of 152 km/h (94 mph).
Parts of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island began to feel the storm’s approach Saturday morning as wind and rain spreading far from the storm’s center knocked out utilities. More than 376,000 customers across Nova Scotia have been without power so far, according to the region’s power outage center.
Residents of New Brunswick, southern Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador also face severe weather as Fiona heads north at more than 40 mph after making landfall between Canso and Guysborough in eastern Nova Scotia. Fiona is expected to pass Cape Breton Island on Saturday morning and reach the southeastern Labrador Sea in the evening.
“The storm is causing strong winds and very heavy rain,” said the Canadian Hurricane Center before hitting the ground. Broad gusts of 80-110 km/h (50-68 mph) have been reported so far over Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Iles-de-la-Madeleine, with maximum gusts of 144 km/h (90 mph) over Beaver Island, Nova Scotia.”
Fiona weakened slightly to a Category 2 storm on Friday but is still expected to bring a devastating storm surge, heavy rain and high winds. Fiona was a Category 4 storm over the Atlantic early Wednesday after passing through the Turks and Caicos Islands and remained so until Friday afternoon.
Officials along the Atlantic coast have urged those in Fiona’s path to be on high alert and prepare for the impact of the storm, which has already killed at least five people and cut power for a million whilehit several Caribbean islands this week. Homes and water infrastructure in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands have been severely damaged and many residents are still trying to recover.
Fiona is on track to become an “extreme weather event” in eastern Canada, with about two months of rain, forecasters in Canada said Friday.
“This could be a historic event for Canada in terms of tropical cyclone intensity,” and could even become the Canadian version of Superstorm Sandy, said Chris Fogarty, manager of the Canadian Hurricane Center. Sandy hit 24 states and the entire East Coast in 2012, causing damage estimated at $78.7 billion.
Fiona became post-tropical before making landfall, arriving at the same time as a low-pressure depression and cold air to the north, as did Sandy, according to Bob Robichaud of the Canadian Hurricane Center.
“What these things usually do is they grow tremendously in size, and that’s what Fiona does,” he explained on Friday. “Sandy was bigger than expected for Fiona. But the process is essentially the same: two functions feed each other to create a strong storm like we’ll see overnight.”
According to CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam, hurricane winds can extend as far as 300 km from central Fiona and tropical storm winds as far as 555 km.
CNN’s Derek Van Dam, Haley Brink, Aya Elamroussi, Theresa Waldrop and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.