Hurricane Fiona hits the Turks and Caicos Islands, leaving 1 million people without running water in the Dominican Republic and much of Puerto Rico without electricity


Hurricane Fiona battered the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday, threatening deadlier flooding, devastating Puerto Rico — cutting off electricity and water service to most of its 3.1 million residents — and leaving the Dominican Republic There are more than 1 million people without running water.

Fiona strengthened to Category 3 early Tuesday with sustained winds of over 111 mph, centered about 40 miles from Grand Turk at around 11 a.m. ET. Heavy rain in parts of the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British territory of about 38,000 people, threatened “life-threatening flooding” throughout the afternoon, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said.

Still dealing with Fiona’s devastating roads are the Dominican Republic — where Fiona’s outlying band could still cause flooding after crossing the Caribbean country on Monday — and Puerto Rico, where Fiona crossed a day earlier, causing near-power outages and leaving the country untouched since the hurricane. The vandalism officials who saw it said Maria landed on Tuesday five years ago.

Nearly 800 emergency workers in the Dominican Republic were brought to safety, according to Juan Manuel Mendez, Dominican Republic’s director of emergency management operations. At least 519 people took refuge in 29 shelters in the country on Monday, he said.

At least four people have died in severe weather, including one in the French territory of Guadeloupe, which Fiona blasted late last week; two in Puerto Rico; and one in the Dominican Republic, according to officials.

In Puerto Rico, a 58-year-old man was swept away by a swollen river behind his home in Comerío, and another man in his 30s caught fire while trying to add gasoline to a generator to turn. up, officials said.

At least 1,018,564 customers in the Dominican Republic were without tap water as of Monday afternoon, as 59 aqueducts were out of service and several others were only partially operating, according to state emergency management officer Jose Luis German Mejia.

Some people in the Dominican Republic also lost power on Monday as 10 circuits went offline, emergency management officials said. It is unclear how many people were affected by the outage.

Fiona moved away from the northern coast of the Dominican Republic early Tuesday, strengthening into a Category 3 storm. According to the Hurricane Center, around 11 a.m. ET, maximum sustained winds were 115 mph with stronger gusts.

It was the first major hurricane of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season — a Category 3 or higher hurricane.

Heavy rain around Fiona’s center will threaten the Turks and Caicos Islands, with “sustained life-threatening flooding” continuing into Tuesday afternoon, the hurricane center said.

According to the Hurricane Center, the islands could receive 4 to 8 inches of rain early Tuesday, as well as storm surge — where water pushes the water to land — or 5 to 8 feet.

Hurricane conditions are likely in the Turks and Caicos Islands by Tuesday afternoon, with tropical storm conditions (winds of at least 39 mph) expected to spread to the southeastern Bahamas by Tuesday morning.

Strengthening is expected as Fiona returns from the Turks and Caicos Islands. It could be a Category 4 storm — with sustained winds of 130-156 mph — over the Atlantic by early Wednesday. Forecasters said it was expected to pass near or west of Bermuda late Thursday or early Friday and could still be in Category 4 as it passed.

Fiona could make landfall in eastern Canada as a hurricane over the weekend. It’s too early to know exactly where or how strong it might be.

Fiona’s outlying band was still ravaging Puerto Rico early Tuesday, submerging an area already struggling with dangerous flooding and destruction.

The National Hurricane Center said parts of the region will receive more than 30 inches of rain by the end of the storm.

On Tuesday, five years after Hurricane Maria’s catastrophic landfall, some people who lived through the 2017 crisis said Fiona’s flood damage could have been worse.

Five years ago, before Fiona arrived in Loisa, Puerto Rico, Jetsabel Osorio stood in her house damaged by Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico business owner Juan Miguel Gonzalez told CNN his community hadn’t recovered from Maria when Fiona struck . But this time, he said, the floods brought deeper damage to their homes.

Gonzalez told CNN on Monday, “A lot of people — not just (in) Maria — have lost their houses now … because of the flooding and lost everything in their houses.” “Maria is a strong wind. But this time, it was pouring rain and ruined everything in the house.”

Puerto Rico’s governor said most of the damage on the island was rain-related. Pedro Pierluisi told CNN Monday night.

More than 1.17 million of the island’s roughly 1.47 million utility customers remained without power as of early Tuesday, according to estimates from, which noted limited updated information on recovery efforts.

Pierluisi said he hopes to restore power to most customers “within a few days.”Power has bones Restored to over 280,000 customers By Tuesday morning, LUMA Energy, the company that oversees the region’s power grid, said.

Power was restored to one of Puerto Rico’s most critical medical facilities on Monday, according to the region’s health secretary, Dr. Carlos Merado Lopez.

“Power systems have been restored to all hospitals in the medical center complex,” Merado said in a statement. Sunday night tweet“Our patients are safe and getting the medical care they need.”

A man looks at a flooded street in the Juana Matos neighborhood of Catano, Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Fiona.

Water service was also disrupted for most people, officials said, because the flooding of the river affected the filtration process and had to step back before safe disposal could be resumed. About 60 percent of customers on the island were without running water on Tuesday morning, the area’s Aqueduct and Sewer Authority said.

As of midday Monday, emergency crews battled the incessant rain and rescued about 1,000 people. General Puerto Rico National Guard Lieutenant General Jose Reyes.

In addition to hundreds of Puerto Rican National Guard members helping with rescue and recovery efforts, the White House said Monday that President Joe Biden told Pierre Louis on the phone that federal support would increase in the coming days.

“If a damage assessment is conducted, the president has indicated that the number of support personnel will increase substantially,” the White House said.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul also announced that the state will send 100 state troopers to assist Puerto Rico’s rescue efforts. She also said the NYPA team could help restore power.

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