Hurricane Fiona unleashes more rain on Puerto Rico; troops rescue hundreds

SAN JUAN: Typhoon Fiona more rain in Puerto Rico on Monday, a day after the storm knocked out power and water on most of the island, and the National Guard rescued hundreds of stranded people.
The governor warned that it could take days for the lights to come back on.
Shot from Fiona more devastated because Puerto Rico has not recovered yet Hurricane Mariakilled nearly 3,000 people and destroyed the power grid in 2017. Five years later, more than 3,000 homes on the island are still covered with blue tarps.
The storm stripped pavement on roads, tore off roofs and sent torrential rains into homes. It also knocked down a bridge and flooded two airports.
Authorities reported two deaths from the storm – a Puerto Rican man swept away by a flooded river and a person in the Dominican Republic who was crushed by a fallen tree.
The storm is still forecast to bring up to 15 inches (38 cm) of rain in some places as it turns away from the United States, home to 3.2 million people.
Forecasts suggest that the storm will develop into a Category 3 or higher hurricane. It was en route to pass near the Turks and Caicos islands on Tuesday and is not expected to threaten the US mainland.
One death in Puerto Rico was linked to a power outage — a 70-year-old man was burned to death after trying to fill a generator with gasoline while it was running, officials said.
Governor Pedro Pierluisi declined to say how long it would take to fully restore power, but he said for most customers it would be “a question of a few days”.
Since the storm began, the National Guard has rescued more than 900 people, General José Reyes told a news conference.
Meanwhile in the Dominican Republic, authorities have closed ports and beaches and ordered most people to stay home from work. Officials say nearly 800 people have been evacuated to safer locations and more than 700 are in shelters.
The storm caused some highways to be closed and a cruise pier in the town of Miches severely damaged by high waves. Officials said at least four international airports were closed.
Dominica’s President, Luis Abinader, said authorities would need several days to assess the impact of the storm.
Back in Puerto Rico, the National Weather Service’s office said flash flooding was happening in the south-central areas of the island and tweeted: “Jump to higher floors IMMEDIATELY!”
Up to 22 inches (56 cm) of rain has fallen in some parts of Puerto Rico, and forecasters say another 4 to 8 inches could fall as the storm moves away, possibly even out more in some places.
“It’s important that people understand that this isn’t over yet,” said Ernesto Morales, a weather service meteorologist in San Juan.
He said the flooding had reached “historic levels,” with authorities having to evacuate or rescue hundreds of people across Puerto Rico.
“The damage we are seeing is catastrophic,” Pierluisi said.
Water service was cut off to more than 837,000 customers – two-thirds of all customers on the island – because of turbid water at refineries or a lack of electricity, officials said.
Before dawn Monday, authorities in a boat navigated flooded streets in the northern coast town of Catano and used a loudspeaker to warn residents that the pumps had been damaged. collapsed, urging them to evacuate as soon as possible.
Authorities said at least 1,300 people spent the night in shelters across the island.
Brown water flooded streets and homes and airports in Ponce and Mayaguez were closed.
The system also ripped asphalt from roads and washed away a bridge in the mountain town of Utuado that police said was installed by the National Guard after Category 4 Hurricane Maria made landfall.
Fiona also tore roofs off homes, including that of Nelson Cirino in the northern coastal town of Loiza.
“I was sleeping and when I saw the corrugated iron come out,” he said as he watched the rain wet his furniture and the wind blow his colorful curtains into the air.
After roaring over the Dominican Republic, Fiona moved into the open Atlantic, where it is forecast to strengthen, according to the National Hurricane Center.
On Monday evening, it was centered about 130 miles (205 km) southeast of Grand Turk Island and headed northwest at 10 mph (17 km/h), with maximum sustained winds. is 105 mph (165 km/h).
The tropical storm’s winds extend 140 miles (220 km) from the center.
Our President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency as the eye of the storm approached the southwestern corner of the island.
Fiona previously devastated the eastern Caribbean, killing a man in the French territory of Guadeloupe when floodwaters swept away his home, officials said.
The system hit Puerto Rico on the anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, a Category 3 hurricane that hit the island in 1989.

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