According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Fiona made landfall at 3:20 p.m. on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico near Punta Tocón with winds of 136 km/h.
Power was cut off in Puerto Rico on Sunday, according to PowerOutage.us, as Hurricane Fiona hit this region of the Caribbean already battling the threat of flooding and landfall, which stemmed from a Category 1 hurricane.
“Puerto Rico is 100% without power due to transmission grid failure from Hurricane Fiona,” the website said.
Governor Pedro Pierlusi confirmed the blackout in a tweet, noting that the entire electrical system was out of service and that officials had put in place proper protocols to work to restore power.
The blackout, which comes after hours of progressively deteriorating power, comes five years after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico’s power grid in September 2017, leaving many residents without electricity for months. However, officials have stressed that it will not be like last time: Abner Gómez, head of public safety and crisis management for Luma Energy, which operates Puerto Rico’s power grid, shortly before the lights go out , said utility officials plan to repair and restore electricity with the help of local government agencies.
“It’s not Maria, it won’t be Hurricane Maria,” Gomez said.
Fiona is the third hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, after Daniels and Earl.
The effects of the storm are already being felt: at least one death has been reported in Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, France. vice president from the region’s environment agency, who said the capital was devastated by the floods. And in Puerto Rico, where more than 470,000 customers were without electricity as of Sunday afternoon, according to PowerOutage.us, and the National Weather Service, flash floods have already begun.
According to the Hurricane Center, storm winds are expected to lift along the immediate coast, while conditions are forecast to worsen by Sunday afternoon and evening as Fiona moves near or over southwestern Puerto Rico.
There is a possibility that the center of Fiona borders Puerto Rico, preventing a traditional “landfall”. But regardless, the effect of the storm remains the same.
“Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours as Fiona moves near Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the southwestern Atlantic,” the hurricane center said. “Hurricane conditions are expected in Puerto Rico today, and parts of the eastern Dominican Republic tonight and Monday.”
Fiona heads for Dominican Republic as devastating floods hit Puerto Rico
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, particularly in eastern and southern Puerto Rico. 10 to 20 cm of rain is expected in the north and east of the Dominican Republic, while the northeast coast may receive a local maximum of 30 cm.
“These rains will produce life-threatening and devastating flash and urban flooding in Puerto Rico and the eastern Dominican Republic, as well as landslides and landslides in areas of high ground,” the National Hurricane Center warned.
Storm conditions are expected in parts of the Dominican Republic over the next few hours and then over parts of the Turks and Caicos Islands and 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, Inaguas, Mayaguana and Ragged Islands.
Fiona remains a Category 1 hurricane with 136 km/h strong winds and is forecast to become a major hurricane in about 48 hours east of the Bahamas.