Hurricane Fiona strengthens into a Category 4 hurricane, moves toward Bermuda after toppling Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands

Hurricane Fiona strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane after devastating Wednesday Puerto Ricothen cursing Dominican Republic And this Turks and Caicos Islands, It was forecast to overtake Bermuda later this week.

US National Hurricane Center Told Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph on Wednesday afternoon and was centered about 650 miles southwest of Bermuda, moving to the north at 8 mph.

It was expected to reach Bermuda late Thursday night and then into Canada’s Atlantic provinces late Friday. The US State Department issued a Advisor Tuesday night asked US citizens to “reconsider travel” to Bermuda.

The storm has been directly blamed for causing at least four deaths in its march through the Caribbean, where winds and torrential rain in Puerto Rico left most people in US territory without power or running water. Hundreds of thousands of people pulled mud from their homes after officials described it as a “historic” flood.

Hurricane Fiona is seen in a satellite image on September 21, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.
Hurricane Fiona is seen in a satellite image on September 21, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

NOAA


Power company officials had initially said that it would take a few days for power to be fully restored, but then appeared to be back on track late Tuesday night. As of Wednesday afternoon, three days after Fiona arrived on the island, about 70% of customers had no electricity, according to government data.

“Hurricane Fiona has severely affected electricity infrastructure and production facilities across the island. We would like to make it very clear that efforts to restore and reactivate are ongoing and have caused severe flooding, impassable roads, fallen Trees are being affected by deteriorating equipment and downed lines,” said Luma, the company that operates power transmission and distribution.

“I expect that by the end of today, a large portion of the population will have these services,” Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierlusi said.

pierluisi tweeted Wednesday afternoon that the federal government had approved a major disaster declaration request in response to Fiona. Earlier on Wednesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said The request was still under review. President Biden on Sunday approved an emergency declaration for the storm.

FEMA chief Dean Criswell traveled to Puerto Rico on Tuesday as the agency announced it was sending hundreds of additional personnel to boost local response efforts.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Health and Human Services also declared a public health emergency on the island and deployed some teams to the island.

The storm killed one person in the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe, another person in Puerto Rico who was swept away by a swollen river, and two people in the Dominican Republic: one from a fallen tree and another from a fallen power post Gone.

Two additional deaths were reported in Puerto Rico as a result of the blackout: a 70-year-old man burned to death while trying to fill his generator with gasoline and a 78-year-old man Police say he inhaled the poison emanating from his generator. gases.

The rumble of generators could be heard all over the area as people became increasingly disturbed. Some were still trying to recover from Hurricane Maria, which made landfall five years earlier as a Category 4 hurricane, killing one. Estimated 2,975 people,


Why does Puerto Rico’s energy grid fail?

02:04

Luis Noguera, who was helping clear a landslide in the central mountain town of Caye, said Maria left them without electricity for a year. Authorities didn’t announce a full resumption of volunteering until 11 months after Maria was hit.

“We paid an electrician out of our own pocket to connect us,” he recalled, adding that he didn’t think the government would be of much help again after Fiona.

Long lines were reported at several gas stations in Puerto Rico, and some pulled down a main highway to collect water from a stream.

“We thought we had a bad experience with Maria, but it was worse,” said Gerardo Rodriguez, who lives in the southern coastal city of Salinas.

Parts of the island received more than 25 inches of rain and more rain fell on Tuesday.


Hurricane Fiona slams Puerto Rico, leaving most of the island without electricity or clear water

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As of late Tuesday, officials said they had restored power to about 380,000 of the island’s 1.47 million customers. Piped water service was initially shut down for most of the island’s users due to a lack of electricity and dirty water at filtration plants, but 55% had service on Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday, the National Weather Service in San Juan issued heat advisories for several cities as most people on the island of 3.2 million remain without electricity.

Hurricane Fiona hits Puerto Rico, knocking out power across the island
Workers remove fallen trees on September 20, 2022 in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. The island suffered extensive power cuts after Hurricane Fiona hit the island.

Jose Jimenez/Getty Images


US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday he would pressure the federal government to cover 100% of disaster response costs – instead of the usual 75% – as part of an emergency disaster declaration.

“We need to make sure that this time around, Puerto Rico has it as quickly as possible, for as long as they need it,” he said.

Many Americans had not heard from family members who did not have electricity.

“I haven’t been able to talk to my mom and see how she’s doing,” Palm Beach County, Florida, resident Nancy Valentin told CBS News.

At Boston’s Logan Airport, those arriving from Puerto Rico recounted their fear of Fiona drowning in floodwaters.

Yolanda Rivera told CBS News, “We stayed in a small corner in a room that was secure, there was no light or anything all night. The place was very dark.”

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, officials reported minimal damage and no deaths, despite the eye of the storm passing near the small British territory’s capital island of Grand Turk on Tuesday morning.

The government had imposed curfew and urged people to flee the flood-affected areas.

“Turks and Caicos had an unprecedented experience in the last 24 hours,” Deputy Governor Anya Williams said. “It certainly came with its share of challenges.”

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