Meteorologist Bob Robichaud says the potent storm touched down at about 8:30 a.m. AST (7:30 a.m. EST, 1130 GMT) as it continued to barrel north-northeast.
He says a swath of the province from Fortune, on the Burin Peninsula, all the way east to St. John's on the Avalon Peninsula was getting pounded with stiff winds and heavy rains.
Winds were still building, with the St. John's airport recording hurricane-force gusts of up to 81 mph (131 kph), while waves were reaching 10 yards (meters) at an offshore buoy.
There were widespread power outages in St. John's and communities along the southeastern coast of the Avalon Peninsula.
Heavy rains also drenched province's western portion.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.