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Port aux Basque under state of emergency as Fiona sweeps houses out to sea

The town of Port aux Basque in Newfoundland and Labrador is under a state of emergency as first responders cope with electrical fires, residential flooding, and washoutsdue to post-tropical storm Fiona.

According to the RCMP in the province, Fiona wreakedhavoc Saturdayon the small coastal townthat sits on the far,southwestern tip of Newfoundland. 

Residents have posted images and video on social media of apartment buildings being swept out to sea, roads flooded and homes crumbling. As of Saturday morning, residents in the entire East End Channel hadbeen ordered to evacuate.

Around 11:30 a.m. local time, RCMP issued an advisory to residents, asking themto “refrain from risky behaviour,” including taking any pictures or video in areas of flooding.

“This is not safe. People are putting themselves and first responders at unnecessary risk,” RCMP said in the advisory posted to Twitter.

Newfoundland Power, which delivers electricity to 600 communities in the province, said in a statement posted to Twitter on Saturday that “conditions have deteriorated quickly” in the Port aux Basque region, delaying their ability to respond to outages. 

Environment Canada has multiple warnings for the region and predicts an additional 30 to 50 mm of rain is expected Saturday from Fiona, in addition to the 40 to 50 mm that was previouslyreported.

A wreckhouse wind warning is also in effect with winds expectedtoshiftthe southwest by early Saturday evening but “remain strong with widespread gusts to 110 km/h expected for a few hours before diminishing,” the weather agency said on its website. 

Environment Canada also says heavy downpours are likely to cause flash floods and water pooling on roads in the region.