Puerto Ricans Prepare for Hurricane Fiona: Tropical Storm will be upgraded to a hurricane
Mighty Storm Fiona has strengthened into a hurricane as it heads toward Puerto Rico on Sunday, threatening to batter the U.S. territory with life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center.
The storm, which has already been blamed for one death, was about 50 miles south of the city of Ponce with maximum sustained winds near 80 mph and exceeded the threshold for hurricane strength, the NHC said.
Torrential rain and mudslides have also been forecast for the Dominican Republic as the storm progresses northwest.
“On the forecast range, the center of Fiona will be approaching Puerto Rico this morning and moving near or over Puerto Rico this afternoon or evening,” the NHC said in an 11:00 a.m. update
U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday passed an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico, authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief efforts and provide emergency preparedness response.
This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Fiona in the Caribbean on Saturday
Residents attach protective plywood to a window of their home in preparation for Hurricane Fiona’s arrival in Loiza, Puerto Rico
A September 17 photo shows the aftermath of the Fiona storm in Capesterre-Belle-Eau on the French island of Guadeloupe
Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island of 3.3 million people, could be hit by up to 25 inches of rain.
“These rains will cause life-threatening flash floods and flooding in cities throughout Puerto Rico and the eastern Dominican Republic, along with mudslides and landslides in areas of higher terrain,” the NHC said.
Puerto Rico’s power grid remains fragile after Hurricane Maria caused the largest power outage in US history in September 2017.
This Category 5 storm lost power to 1.5 million customers, with 80% of power lines down.
Authorities have opened about 80 shelters and closed beaches and casinos, and residents have been urged to seek shelter.
The only death reported by Fiona so far occurred on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe after heavy rains swept away his home in the Basse-Terre district, authorities said on Saturday.
The storm was predicted to batter cities along Puerto Rico’s south coast still recovering from a series of powerful earthquakes that struck the region as of late 2019, with several schools yet to close and debris to be cleared.
More than 100 people had taken shelter across the island by Saturday night, most of them in the southern coastal city of Guayanilla.
Nelson Cirino secures the windows of his home as Hurricane Fiona winds blow in Loiza, Puerto Rico
Roads were flooded in Guadeloupe and there appeared to be some damage to vegetation
Residents prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Fiona in Loiza, Puerto Rico on Saturday
A man stands in front of a beach ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Fiona in San Juan
With Fiona due just two days before the anniversary of Hurricane Maria, a deadly Category 4 storm that struck on September 20, 2017, fear ran high across the island. People boarded up windows and stocked up on food and water.
“I think all of us Puerto Ricans who have experienced Maria have this post-traumatic stress: ‘What’s going to happen, how long is it going to take and what needs might we come up with?’ said Danny Hernández, who works in the capital San Juan but planned to weather the storm with his parents and family in the western city of Mayaguez.
“Hurricane conditions are expected in parts of Puerto Rico Sunday and Sunday night and possible in the U.S. Virgin Islands (Saturday night) and Sunday,” NHC said.
It was forecast to pass the Dominican Republic on Monday and then with the risk of heavy rain over northern Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands. It could threaten the far southern end of the Bahamas on Tuesday.
A hurricane warning has been issued for the east coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Caucedo to Cabo Frances Viejo.
Fiona had previously hit the eastern Caribbean, killing a man in the French territory of Guadeloupe when floods washed away his home, officials said.
The storm also damaged roads, uprooted trees and destroyed at least one bridge.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/uncategorized/puerto-ricans-brace-for-hurricane-fiona-tropical-storm-is-upgraded-to-hurricane-status/ Puerto Ricans Prepare for Hurricane Fiona: Tropical Storm will be upgraded to a hurricane