Hurricane Fiona makes landfall in the Dominican Republic while most of Puerto Rico remains without power

Hurricane Fiona makes landfall in the Dominican Republic while most of Puerto Rico remains without power
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Fiona made landfall Monday morning in the Dominican Republic after making landfall a day earlier in southwestern Puerto Rico.

But it’s not done battering Puerto Rico yet, which remains almost entirely under flash floods or flood warnings nearly five years to the next day. Hurricane Maria devastated the US territory.

An area north of the city of Ponce reported more than 2 feet of rain in the last 24 hours. And southern Puerto Rico can expect another 4 to 6 inches of rain or more early this week, meaning Fiona will leave the island inundated with 12 to 30 inches of rain, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said. .

“These rainfall amounts will continue to produce catastrophic and life-threatening flooding along with landslides and mudslides throughout Puerto Rico,” the hurricane center said.

Fiona has already turned deadly in the Caribbean. At least one death was reported in the badly damaged city of Basse-Terrethe capital of the French territory of Guadeloupe, said the vice president of the territory’s environmental agency.
And Fiona could become a major hurricane on Wednesday, with winds reaching 111 mph. That would make Fiona the first major Atlantic hurricane of the year, the National Hurricane Center said.

Massive power outages paralyze Puerto Rico

More than 1.4 million Puerto Rico power customers, such as homes and businesses, have lost power, officials said. The entire island was in darkness early Monday morning. informed.

And it could be days before power is restored, Puerto Rico’s main utility said Sunday, as daily high temperatures after Monday are forecast to reach 80 to 90 degrees.

Several transmission line outages contributed to the blackout, LUMA Energy said. Power will be restored “gradually,” Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi said in a Facebook post.

Hurricane evacuees take shelter at a public school in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico.

Late Monday morning, a bit of good news from the island’s capital: the electrical system was back up and running for hospitals in the San Juan medical complex, Puerto Rico’s Secretary of Health, Dr. Carlos said. Mellado Lopez. The complex is the largest on the island and extends over 227 acres, according to the Puerto Rico Health Administration.

“The electrical system has been restored in all the hospitals of the Medical Center Complex,” Mellado tweeted on Sunday night. “Our patients are safe and receive the medical care they need.”

Fiona’s last walk

The hurricane hit the community of Boca de Yuma, Dominican Republic, early Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

Fiona could intensify as it moves across the Atlantic Ocean.

Eastern parts of the Dominican Republic could also experience flooding, landslides or landslides, the hurricane center said. Fiona could dump 12 inches of rain across the eastern and northern parts of the country.

As Fiona moves away from the north coast of the Dominican Republic, more significant strengthening is expected as it moves north over warm waters.

Tropical storm conditions are expected in the southeastern Bahamas by late Monday or early Tuesday, with Fiona expected to impact the eastern Turks and Caicos Islands Tuesday morning.

“Fiona will continue to turn north and then northeast this week, approaching Bermuda on Friday as a major hurricane,” said CNN Meteorologist Brandon Miller.

Another widespread calamity

Power outages have become a family crisis for many living in Puerto Rico. Just five months ago, residents suffered another blackout across the island after a fire broke out at a power plant.
Some parts of the island still bear the scars of Maria, which caused catastrophic damage to infrastructure; it took nearly a year to restore power to the entire island.
Hurricane Fiona causing 'catastrophic' flooding in Puerto Rico

Samuel Rivera and his mother, Lourdes Rodríguez, lived without power for about a year after Maria, Rivera told CNN’s Layla Santiago. On Sunday morning, they lost power again, prompting fears similar to those they had five years ago.

They also worried that a nearby river could overflow and trees around their home could be blown over by strong winds, they said.

water running easily erased a bridge, carrying his structure downstream, shows a video of the dangerous flooding. Elsewhere in the city of Arecibo, fast-moving waters hit large construction vehicles and entire trees as rain poured down, another video by Samuel De Jesús shows.

Many rivers on the eastern side of the island were in moderate to major flood stages Sunday afternoon, including a southeastern river that rose more than 12 feet in less than seven hours.

2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Basic Facts

US President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration early Sunday to provide federal assistance to disaster relief efforts.

More than 300 FEMA emergency workers were on the ground responding to the crisis, said Anne Bink, associate administrator for FEMA Response and Recovery.

“Our hearts go out to the residents who are once again experiencing another catastrophic event five years later,” Bink said, nodding toward Maria. This time, he told her, FEMA plans to implement the lessons learned from the 2017 crisis.

“We were much more prepared. We now have four strategically located warehouses across the island, including staples, exponentially larger supplies than in the past,” Bink said.

“We’re there proactively, and well before any storm hits, to make sure we’re coordinating. And all the planning efforts that we undertake during those days of blue skies can be carried out when the rain falls.”

CNN’s Leyla Santiago, Jamiel Lynch, Alfonso Serrano, Caitlin Kaiser, Allie Malloy, Dakin Andone and Haley Brink contributed to this report.

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