September 27, 2022

Hurricane Fiona: Many across Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic remain without power and running water as the storm churns toward Bermuda

4 min read

The powerful storm has killed at least five people across the Caribbean, including one in Guadeloupe, two in Puerto Rico and two in the Dominican Republic. And many residents are now enduring what has become the first major hurricane of this year’s Atlantic season.

“It was something incredible that we had never seen before,” Ramona Santana in Higuey, Dominican Republic, told CNN en Español.

“We’re on the streets, nothing, no food, no shoes, no clothes, just what’s on your back,” Santana said. “We have nothing. We have God, and hope that help will come.”

In Puerto Rico, where Fiona brought torrential rains and island-wide blackouts as it made landfall on Sunday, more than a million homes and businesses were without power Wednesday, according to the government. Emergency portal system.

Additionally, more than 450,000 people on the island were without water service or experiencing intermittent service as of Wednesday night, according to the website.

In the Dominican Republic, where Fiona made landfall early Monday, about 350,000 homes and businesses were plunged into darkness Wednesday, according to Maj. Gen. Juan Mendez Garcia, director of the country’s emergency operations center. He said that there is no water for more than one million consumers.

Garcia said the storm destroyed more than 600 homes and left some communities without aid.

As Fiona hit the Dominican Republic in the middle of the night on Monday, Iverice Viera said she was in waist-deep floodwaters when she arrived to wake up her neighbors in Higüey.

She is now trying to dry her stuff. “The rooms are empty, I have to throw away a lot, there is no electricity or water to wash anything,” Vera told CNN en Español.

Fast facts on the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season

Puerto Rico is making some progress on the aid front: President Joe Biden on Wednesday approved a major disaster declaration for the U.S. territory, FEMA said. The measure allows residents to access grants for temporary housing and home repairs, as well as low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses.

“This ensures that our people will have access to additional assistance from FEMA to cover the damages caused by this event,” said Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierlosi. Tweet.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams deployed a team of representatives from various city agencies to Puerto Rico to assist officials surveying the damage.

“The team will include representatives from New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM), the New York City Department of Buildings, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and the New York City Department of Design and Construction,” according to a news release. From the mayor’s office

A man collects spring water from a mountain next to a highway in the wake of Hurricane Fiona in Cayey, Puerto Rico, Wednesday.

Fiona is on her way to impressing Bermuda next.

With sustained winds of 130 mph early Thursday, Fauna was located 600 miles southwest of Bermuda and about 1,300 miles southwest of Nova Scotia, Canada, according to CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford.

The storm’s center is expected to pass just west of Bermuda on Friday morning.

“The National Hurricane Center believes Bermuda will experience tropical storm-force winds. After Fiona passes Bermuda, the storm is forecast to affect Nova Scotia by Saturday afternoon,” Shackelford said. is gone,” Shackleford said.

Officials in Nova Scotia held a news conference Wednesday to inform residents of the impact this weekend.

Jason Mayo, director of the Office of Emergency Management, said residents should prepare by securing outdoor items, trimming trees, charging cellphones and making emergency kits.

Mayo added that the shelters will remain open to those experiencing homelessness and anyone else who needs them.

Meanwhile, US officials issued a travel advisory, warning Americans not to travel to Bermuda as Fiona approaches.

The State Department has also authorized the families of US government officials to leave Bermuda due to the impending storm.

Bermuda is currently under a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch because hurricane-force winds can extend up to 45 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds can extend up to 195 miles, Shackelford said.

Cars drive under downed power poles from Hurricane Fiona in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

Turks and Caicos are also experiencing power outages.

Hurricane Fiona also threatened parts of the Turks and Caicos on Tuesday after ravaging Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Many areas of Turks and Caicos were without power on Wednesday, particularly Grand Turks, South Caicos, Sault Ste., North Caicos and Middle Caicos, according to Acting Islands Governor Anya Williams.

Officials there said they were relieved no one was killed in the storm as they began visiting several islands and making repairs.

Devastating Cyclone Fiona has reached Category 4 as it moves north, leaving devastated areas on a slow recovery path.

Meanwhile, in Puerto Rico, crews are struggling to restore power to the island.

Josué Colon, executive director of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, said Wednesday that many lines that were believed to have been repaired were temporarily taken offline due to various equipment problems. .

The repairs are taking place after about five years. Hurricane Maria put the island under an extended blackout in 2017.

More than 800 people were housed in dozens of shelters on the island Wednesday, according to Puerto Rico Housing Secretary William Rodriguez.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso, Jessica Hisbon, George Venegas, Amy Simonson, Chris Boyette and Jameel Lynch contributed to their reporting.

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