Fiona to Puerto Rico reel, 1.3M without power, flash flood amid deluge

Puerto Rico remains under a tropical storm warning after Hurricane Fiona received more than 2 feet of rain over the weekend.

More flooding and landslides are expected on Monday as heavy rains are likely to continue till the end of the day on Tuesday.

Since Puerto Rico is still in the emergency response phase after Fiona, the island does not yet need humanitarian aid, Gov. Pedro Pierlucci said. a news conference monday.

“We need help with first responders,” he said, adding that New York Governor Kathy Hochul has already vowed to send 100 first responders to Puerto Rico.

Pierlucci said Puerto Rico has 4 warehouses with enough food and water during the emergency response phase, humanitarian assistance may be needed once the island enters the recovery phase.

He said the governor is expecting a preliminary estimate of damage after the tropical storm showers on Tuesday, a necessary process for Puerto Rico to request a formal disaster declaration to help the island with recovery efforts. will free up additional resources, he said.

President Joe Biden declared a federal emergency on the island on Sunday, allowing FEMA to step in with emergency response resources.

Most of the approximately 1.5 million electricity customers in Puerto Rico live without electricity. As of Monday morning, about 100,000 customers have had their power restored, according to Luma Energy, the company in charge of power transmission and distribution in Puerto Rico.

While government officials said no deaths related to the storm had been reported as of Monday morning, a 70-year-old man from Hatillo city died of fire-related injuries that exploded when he was using a generator. Gone. Emergency personnel said the man tried to refuel while turning on his generator, causing the machine to explode.

Pierlucci said two others who died in shelters during the storm were believed to have died of natural causes; However, officials are waiting for the Institute of Forensic Sciences to confirm whether this is so.

The heavy rainfall left “unprecedented accumulation of water in some areas”, but the most affected are the mountainous region in the center of the island as well as cities in the southern region.

Devastating floods have already devastated much of Puerto Rico Fiona made landfall on Sunday An islandwide blackout was reported about an hour earlier as a hurricane at around 3:20 p.m. Puerto Rico near the eyeof the south-west coast.

devastation and failure Power grid echoes after Hurricane MariaWhich made landfall five years ago this month and was the deadliest natural disaster to hit US territory in 100 years.

People wait inside a house to protect themselves from flooding caused by Hurricane Fiona on September 18, 2022 in Caye, Puerto Rico.
People wait inside a house in Caye as they wait for rescue from flooding caused by Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico on Sunday.Stephanie Rojas / AP

on Monday, National Weather Service in San Juan Locals were urged to “move to higher ground immediately” which, due to the ongoing flash floods, is expected to worsen with heavy rains.

Bands of rain and strong winds with gusts of 30 mph to 40 mph are forecast to fall down over the island, particularly in the south, from Guayama to Ponce, on Monday. weather service Told.

at least two bridges have collapsed Category 1 hurricane Destroyed Puerto Rico, one in the city of Utuado and the other in Arecibo.

According to the government, about 66% of all water service customers, more than 830,000 customers, have not restored their service as of Monday morning. preparation page,

in the southern city of Ponce, Mercedes International Airport Closed due to flood. The muddy waters in this area caused landslides in some localities, forcing some people to stick to waist-deep water,

The smaller airports in Mayagüez, Arecibo and Humacao are not yet operating. preparation page,

Puerto Rico’s main airport, Luis Muoz Marín International Airport, Resume operations on Monday morning But some airlines have opted to cancel some of their flights in and out of Puerto Rico.

In Aguadilla, another smaller airport also resumed operations.

As of Monday morning, Fiona was making landfall in the Dominican Republic, last located 35 miles southeast of Samana, with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. National Hurricane Center.

The storm is forecast to bring hurricane status to the Dominican Republic on Monday, with hurricane warnings extending from Cabo Casado to Cabo Frances Viejo, as well as Turks and Caicos. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra, and the northern coast of the Dominican Republic and southeastern Bahamas.

The Hurricane Center said that Fiona is expected to continue to the northwest through Monday night and turn to the north-northwest and north Wednesday on Tuesday.

The storm is forecast to move into the eastern part of the Dominican Republic early Monday, with its center moving toward or near Turks and Caicos on Tuesday.

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