March 31, 2023

Hurricane Fiona strengthened to Category 4 strength early Wednesday as it headed towards Bermuda after hitting the Turks and Caicos Islands early Wednesday. Fiona had sustained winds of 130 mph.

It is expected to approach Bermuda late Thursday, the US National Hurricane Center said. US State Department An advisory has been issued Tuesday night asked US citizens to “reconsider travel” to Bermuda.

Fiona was forecast to weaken before moving into eastern Canada over the weekend. It is not expected to threaten the US mainland.

Early Wednesday, Fiona was about 105 miles north of North Caicos Island and 755 miles southwest of Bermuda. It was heading north at 8 mph.

The storm was responsible for at least four direct deaths as it passed through the Caribbean islands, where it dissipated Heavy rain in Puerto RicoAfter what authorities described as “historic” flooding, large numbers of people were left without electricity or water and many were thrown from their homes by mud.

Power company officials initially said it would take several days to fully restore power but then appeared to be delayed late Tuesday night.

Hurricane Fiona hits Puerto Rico, knocking out power across the island
Workers remove fallen trees in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico on September 20, 2022. The island experienced widespread power outages after Hurricane Fiona hit

Jose Jimenez / Getty Images

“Hurricane Fiona has severely impacted electrical infrastructure and generation facilities across the island. We want to make it very clear that recovery and revitalization efforts continue and are being impacted by severe flooding, impassable roads, uprooted trees, damaged equipment and downed lines.” Luma said company that operates power transmission and distribution.

By late Tuesday, authorities said they had restored power to about 300,000 of the island’s 1.47 million customers, while water service had been cut to more than 760,000 customers — two-thirds of the island’s total.

The hum of generators could be heard across the island as people became increasingly agitated, some still trying to recover. Hurricane Maria, which hit as a Category 4 storm Five years ago, an estimated 2,975 people were killed.

Luis Nogueira, who was helping clear a landslide in the central mountain town of Caye, said Maria left him without electricity for a year.

“We paid an electrician out of our own pocket to connect us,” he recalls, adding that he doesn’t think the government will help much again after Fiona.

Long lines were reported at several gas stations across Puerto Rico, and some closed a major highway to collect water from a stream.

Hurricane Fiona hits Puerto Rico, knocking out power across the island
People wait in line at a gas station in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico for generator fuel on September 20, 2022 after Hurricane Fiona caused massive power outages on the island.

Jose Jimenez / Getty Images

“We thought we had a bad experience with Maria, but it was worse,” said Gerardo Rodriguez, who lives in the southern coastal city of Salinas.

Some parts of the island received more than 25 inches of rain and more on Tuesday.

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency traveled to Puerto Rico on Tuesday as the agency announced it was sending hundreds of additional personnel to boost local response efforts.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency on the island and deployed several teams to US territory.

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday he would push the federal government to cover 100% of disaster response costs — instead of the usual 75% — as part of the emergency disaster declaration.

“We need to make sure this time, Puerto Rico has everything it needs, as soon as possible, for as long as they need it,” he said.

Why is Puerto Rico’s power grid failing?


Many Americans have never heard from family members who don’t have electricity.

“I haven’t been able to talk to my mom and see how she’s doing,” Palm Beach County, Florida resident Nancy Valentine told CBS News.

At Boston’s Logan Airport, those arriving from Puerto Rico described their fear of drowning in Fiona’s floodwaters.

Yolanda Rivera told CBS News, “We were in a room in a little corner that was safe, with no lights or anything all night long. The place was very dark.”

Hurricane Fiona hits Puerto Rico, leaving much of the island without power or clean water


In the Turks and Caicos Islands, officials reported minimal damage and no deaths despite the eye of the storm moving closer to Grand Turk, the capital island of the tiny British territory, on Tuesday morning.

The government has imposed a curfew and urged people to flee flood-prone areas.

“Turks and Caicos has had an extraordinary experience over the last 24 hours,” said Deputy Governor Anya Williams. “It certainly brought its share of challenges.”

The storm killed one person in the French Caribbean region of Guadeloupe, another in Puerto Rico who was swept away by a swollen river, and two people in the Dominican Republic: one killed by a falling tree and another by an electric post.

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