November 29, 2022

Hurricane Fiona makes landfall in southwestern Puerto Rico

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(CNN) — Hurricane Fiona made landfall along the southwest coast of Puerto Rico near Punta Tocón at 3:20 pm ET with winds of 136 km/h according to the National Hurricane Center.

On Sunday, power was cut throughout Puerto Rico, according to PowerOutage.usas Hurricane Fiona hits this area of ​​the Caribbean that is already dealing with the threat of flooding and landslides derived from the category 1 storm.

“Puerto Rico is 100% without power due to a transmission grid failure from Hurricane Fiona,” the website said.

Governor Pedro Pierluisi confirmed the blackout in a tweet, noting that the entire electrical system was out of service and officials had put in place the proper protocols to work to restore power.

The blackout, which followed hours of progressively worsening power outages, comes five years after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico’s power grid in September 2017, leaving many residents without power for months. However, officials have emphasized that it will not be like the last time: Not long before the lights went out, Abner Gómez, head of public safety and crisis management for LUMA Energy, which operates Puerto Rico’s power grid, said that utility authorities plan to repair and restore power with the help of local government agencies.

“This is not Maria, this hurricane will not be Maria,” Gomez said.

Parts of Puerto Rico could see up to 25 inches of rain as Tropical Storm Fiona approaches.

Fiona is the third hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane seasonafter Danielle and Earl.

The impacts of the storm are already being felt: at least one death has been reported in Basse-Terre, in the French territory of Guadeloupe, according to the vice president from the territory’s environmental agency, who said the capital had been devastated by flooding. And in Puerto Rico, where more than 470,000 customers were without power as of noon Sunday, according to PowerOutage.usand according to the National Weather Service flash flooding has already begun.

According to the hurricane center, the storm’s winds are expected to pick up along the immediate coast, while conditions are forecast to deteriorate through the afternoon and evening Sunday as Fiona moves near or over the southwestern Puerto Rico.

There is a possibility that the center of Fiona borders Puerto Rico, preventing a traditional “landfall”. But regardless, the storm’s impacts remain the same.

“Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours as Fiona moves near Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and over the southwestern Atlantic,” the hurricane center said. “Hurricane conditions are expected in Puerto Rico today, and are expected in parts of the eastern Dominican Republic tonight and Monday.”

Catastrophic flooding in Puerto Rico as Fiona heads to the Dominican Republic

Hurricane Fiona is causing catastrophic flooding, the National Hurricane Center said in a 5 p.m. update Sunday, as it moves west of Puerto Rico toward the Dominican Republic.

The hurricane center is forecasting 12 to 18 inches of rain with a local maximum of 30 inches, especially in eastern and southern Puerto Rico. 10 to 20 centimeters of rain is expected for the north and east of the Dominican Republic, with a local maximum of 30 centimeters possible along the northeast coast.

“These rains will produce life-threatening and catastrophic flash and urban flooding throughout Puerto Rico and the eastern Dominican Republic, along with landslides and landslides in areas of higher ground,” warns the National Hurricane Center. .

Storm conditions are expected to reach parts of the Dominican Republic in the next few hours and then the Turks and Caicos Islands and parts of the southeastern Bahamas by early Tuesday.

The government of the Bahamas issued a tropical storm warning for the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas, including Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana and the Ragged Islands.

Fiona remains a Category 1 hurricane with 136 km/h winds with higher gusts and is forecast to become a major hurricane in about 48 hours east of the Bahamas.

Current forecast for Storm Fiona across the Atlantic.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso and Meteorologist Derek Van Dam contributed to this report.





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