Hurricane Igor slams Canada's east coast

ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland — Hurricane Igor pelted Canada's Newfoundland province with heavy rain Tuesday, flooding communities, washing out roads and stranding some residents in their homes.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre said Igor had transformed into a "post-tropical" storm, which has a different structure from a hurricane but still packs the same punch. The storm battered Newfoundland, on Canada's eastern coast.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre said the change in Igor's classification does not reflect a downgrade in the storm's intensity because winds have strengthened as the storm draws energy from another weather system to the west.

"Normally the cool North Atlantic chills out these hurricanes, but this one came up with a vengeance and met another low pressure system and the combined wallop of the wind and the water has been quite devastating," Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams said.

Williams said it caused tens of millions of dollars in damage and said it's the hardest they've been hit in recent memory. He said 14 communities have declared a state of emergency and said 27 communities are isolated as a result of washouts and road damages. He said the damage is significant.

"There are a lot of homes that are nearly completely submerged. Barns and structures have been washed away, completely out to sea," Williams said.

He said he would visit some of the affected communities today.

"This is not your normal heavy rainfall flooding. It's having a major impact," said Chris Fogarty of the Canadian Hurricane Centre. He said more than 8 inches of rain has fallen in some regions.

Marystown Mayor Sam Synard said the storm was overwhelming his community's capacity to cope.

"We've never seen such a violent storm before," he said. "We've lost sections of our main roads, completely washed out to sea."

Keith Rodway, a member of the Clarenville town council, said parts of his town had to be evacuated.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Wayne Edgecombe said heavy rains that flooded a key bridge in southern Newfoundland have left the Burin Peninsula's 20,000 residents cut off from the rest of the province.