Fiona drenched Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic: Where’s the storm going next?
The Category 1 hurricane is expected to gain strength as she reaches Bahamas, but surges will hit East Coast
Hurricane Fiona made landfall in the Dominican Republic Monday, while continuing to pour all over Puerto Rico, where power was out across the entire island and more than 1,000 people had to be rescued by the Puerto Rico National Guard.
Fiona became a hurricane Sept. 18, making her the third one this year, behind Danielle and Earl.
Puerto Rico has been literally powerless against the storm, with flashflood and mudslide warnings across much of the island. Accuweather reported that more than 1 million residents had been in a blackout since Sunday. And LUMA Energy, the private company responsible for Puerto Rico’s power, said full restoration “could take days.”
The Dominican Republic will likely face strong winds throughout the day Monday, according to CNN.
A CNN weathercaster described Fiona as a “slow, lumbering storm with 85 mph winds, and gusts up to 105 mph.” He also warned that while the United States is not in the storm’s path, huge waves and rip currents can be expected along the East coastline.
According to Weather.com, Fiona’s a Category 1 storm at the moment, but is expected to gain strength as she moves north and brushes by Bermuda and Turks and Caicos “as a major hurricane,” before it “threatens Atlantic Canada in coming days.” CNN weather forecasters say Fiona will be a Category 3 or higher hurricane in the next 48 hours as she moves east of the Bahamas.
The storm’s likely to hit Bermuda, possibly hard, late Thursday into Friday morning. Fiona could reach Nova Scotia and Newfoundland “as either a hurricane or an intense post-tropical cyclone Friday night into Saturday,” per Weather.com.
The weather service noted that a rain gauge near Ponce, Puerto Rico, measured over 27 inches of rain in a 24-hour period and 25 different rain gauges had reported more than a foot of rain on the island.
The National Hurricane Center was warning of more than 30 inches of rain in parts of southern Puerto Rico.
The New York Times reported that more than 2,000 people in Puerto Rico were in shelters. Gov. Pedro R. Pierluisi has been urging residents to stay indoors.
In the Dominican Republic, Fiona has set off “mudslides that damaged highways and shuttered resorts,” per the Times.
The Times also reported that the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency has 400 officials in Puerto Rico. It noted that hospitals all have generators, a requirement since Hurricane Maria hit with devastating force five years ago.