Powerful storm knocks out electricity to more than half a million homes, creating a condition that police said were "like nothing we've ever seen."

Canada had issued severe weather warnings for swathes of its eastern coast.
Canada had issued severe weather warnings for swathes of its eastern coast. (AP)

Hurricane Fiona has slammed into Canada leaving a trail of destruction, hundreds of thousands without electricity and leading Cape Breton Island to declare a state of emergency.

Though downgraded from a hurricane, Fiona still packed winds of 85 miles per hour as it barrelled ashore in the early hours after battering the Caribbean, according to meteorologists.

In the province of Novia Scotia, more than 400,000 households were without electricity, Novia Scotia Power reported.

In neighbouring Prince Edward Island, some 82,000 households lost power, with police in the provincial capital Charlottetown posting images of tangles of downed power lines and roofs punctured by felled trees.

"Conditions are like nothing we've ever seen," police tweeted. 

"It's incredible, there is no electricity, no wi-fi, no more network," said Charlottetown mayor Philip Brown on Radio-Canada TV. "It's stronger than Hurricane Juan in 2003. A lot of trees have fallen, there is a lot of flooding on the roads."

READ MORE: Canada braces for major jolt from Fiona

Severe weather warnings

Canada had issued severe weather warnings for swathes of its eastern coast.

"Significant impacts from high winds, storm surge, and heavy rainfall are expected," the US National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.

The Canadian Hurricane Center (CHC) said high-speed winds had been reported in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Iles-de-la-Madeleine and Newfoundland and that the storm would steam northeast, causing "damaging wind, waves, and storm surge."

Rainfall of up to125 millimetres was recorded in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the CHC said, with large waves hitting Nova Scotia and western Newfoundland of up to 12 metres.

READ MORE: Hurricane Fiona batters Turks and Caicos as Category 3 storm

In Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, stores sold out of propane gas cylinders for camping stoves as residents stocked up.
In Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, stores sold out of propane gas cylinders for camping stoves as residents stocked up. (AP)

Fiona killed at least four people in Puerto Rico earlier this week, according to US media, while two deaths were reported in the Dominican Republic and one in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe.

READ MORE: Fiona rampage cuts water access to half a million in Puerto Rico

Source: TRTWorld and agencies