Puerto Rico is without power as Hurricane Fiona makes landfall: NPR


Nelson Cirino secures the windows of his home as the winds from Hurricane Fiona blow through Loiza, Puerto Rico on Sunday.

Alejandro Granadillo/AP


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Alejandro Granadillo/AP

Puerto Rico is without power as Hurricane Fiona makes landfall: NPR

Nelson Cirino secures the windows of his home as the winds from Hurricane Fiona blow through Loiza, Puerto Rico on Sunday.

Alejandro Granadillo/AP

Hurricane Fiona made landfall in southwestern Puerto Rico on Sunday afternoon as the entire island continues to suffer from power grid outages.

The Category 1 hurricane was expected to produce dangerous landslides and heavy flooding on an island already battered by the storm.

On Sunday afternoon, the storm was centered 15 miles south of Mayagüez, a community on the west coast of Puerto Rico, according to the National Hurricane Center. It had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph and was moving northwest at 9 mph.

Fiona is expected to trigger 12 to 16 inches of precipitation in Puerto Rico, but up to 25 inches in eastern and southern parts of the island.

More than 1,400,000 customers lost power due to a transmission grid outage from the current hurricane, according to utility company reports tracked by PowerOutage.US.

Luma Energy, the island’s private electric utility, said it could take several days to fully restore electric service to Puerto Rico.

Governor Pedro Pierluisi wrote on Facebook that responders from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and Luma Energy “are active and ready to respond to the situation once conditions permit.”

The storm will move towards the Dominican Republic by Monday

The National Hurricane Center expects Fiona to remain in Puerto Rico until Sunday evening and head for the Dominican Republic by Monday. He is set to travel east of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday.

Flash floods are likely to be “deadly and catastrophic” in Puerto Rico and the eastern Dominican Republic, according to officials monitoring the storm. The combination of a storm surge and the tide could produce a rise in water levels of up to three feet on the south coast of the island.

So far, Fiona has wreaked havoc in the eastern Caribbean, damaging roads, destroying property and killing people in the French territory of Guadeloupe, wrote Sylvie Gustave Dit Duflo, head of the region. Twitter.

The storm is also expected to be potentially devastating for parts of the Dominican Republic, northern Haiti and the southern tip of the Bahamas in the coming days.

A fragile power grid makes matters worse

Not so long ago, the island’s power grid was devastated by Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that claimed an estimated 3,000 lives in 2017. Over 80% of the transmission system and distribution was destroyed and the restore process was slow.

As a result, power outages have been an ongoing problem on the island.

President Biden on Sunday approved an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico, which authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts.




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