Hurricane Fiona intensified into a Category 4 storm on Wednesday after hitting itthen skin and the . It was expected to pass Bermuda on Thursday before hitting easternmost Canada late Friday.
US National Hurricane Center (NHC) He said Late Wednesday night Fiona was experiencing maximum winds of 130 mph. Its epicenter was about 550 miles southwest of Bermuda, traveling north at 10 mph. Hurricane-force winds extended 70 miles from the center of the storm, with tropical-force winds extending outward 205 miles.
The Fiona Center is expected to pass west of Bermuda on Thursday night, the National Immigration Commission said, and will approach Canada’s Atlantic provinces on Friday. And moves to the Gulf of St. Lawrence Saturday.
The US State Department issued Advisor Asking US citizens to “reconsider travel” to Bermuda.
The storm was not expected to weaken until Friday.
“Slight change in strength is expected through early Friday,” NHC wrote. “Some weakness is expected to start on Friday, but Fiona is expected to continue to produce hurricane-force winds Friday and Saturday nights after becoming post-tropical.”
The commission said Bermuda could see 2 to 4 inches of rain from Fiona. When Fiona reaches Canada, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and western Newfoundland can bring anywhere from 3 to 6 inches of rain, while eastern Quebec can see 2 to 5 inches.
The storm was blamed for directly causing at least four deaths in its march through the Caribbean.
More than half a million people in Puerto Rico remained without water service on Wednesday, many spending hours queuing to fill jugs of water trucks while others washed up water from mountain runoff.
Sweat rolled down the faces of people in a long line of cars in the northern mountain town of Caguas, as the government dispatched a water truck, one of at least 18 oases created across the island.
The situation was alarming for many people across the island who once again left without essential services in the aftermath of the storm.
“We thought we had a bad experience with Maria, but this was worse,” said Gerardo Rodriguez in the southern coastal town of Salinas, referring to the 2017 hurricane that killed nearly 3,000 people and devastated the island’s power grid.
Hundreds of thousands of people scraped mud from their homes in the wake of what authorities called “historic” floods that dumped nearly two feet of rain on Puerto Rico.
The storm wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico’s electrical grid, which was repaired but not fully rebuilt after Hurricane Maria, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm five years ago, caused an 11-month outage in some places.
As of Wednesday afternoon, three days after Fiona arrived on the island, nearly 70% of Puerto Rican customers were without electricity, according to government figures.
The National Weather Service has issued a heat alert for San Juan due to a power outage.
The hum of generators could be heard throughout the area as people became increasingly angry. Some were still trying to recover from Maria, causing someone to die.
“Hurricane Fiona has severely affected the electrical infrastructure and generation facilities across the island. We want to make it very clear that efforts to restore and revitalize energy are ongoing and affected by severe flooding, impassable roads, fallen trees, equipment deterioration and faulty lines,” said Lama, the company that manages transmission and distribution energy.
“I still hope that a significant portion of the population will have access to these services by the end of the day,” Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi said on Wednesday.
Pierluisy too chirp On Wednesday afternoon, the federal government approved a request to declare a major disaster in response to Fiona. Earlier Wednesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) He said The application was still under review. President Biden on Sunday approved a hurricane emergency declaration.
Dean Cresswell, president of FEMA, traveled to Puerto Rico on Tuesday where the agency announced it would send hundreds of additional staff to bolster local response efforts.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Health and Human Services also declared a public health emergency on the island and deployed two teams to the island.
The storm killed a man in the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe, another man 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 the other by a falling electric pole.
Two additional deaths have been reported in Puerto Rico as a result of power outages: a 70-year-old man was burned to death after trying to fill his generator with gasoline while it was running, and a 78-year-old man, police say, inhaled a toxic substance. The gases emitted from its generator.
Luis Nogueira, who has been helping clear a landslide in the central mountain town of Cayes, said Maria left him without power for a year. It wasn’t until 11 months after Maria’s injury that the officials themselves announced a full resumption of service.
“We paid an electrician out of our pockets to drive us,” he recalls, adding that he doesn’t think the government will provide much help again after Fiona.
Long queues were reported at many gas stations across Puerto Rico, and some pulled off the main highway to collect water from a stream.
“We thought we had a bad experience with Maria, but this was worse,” said Gerardo Rodriguez, who lives in the southern coastal town of Salinas.
US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that he will pay the federal government to cover 100% of disaster response costs – instead of the usual 75% – as part of an emergency declaration.
“We need to make sure this time around, Puerto Rico has absolutely everything it needs, ASAP, for as long as it needs it,” he said.
Not many Americans have heard of family members who don’t have electricity.
“I haven’t been able to talk to my mom and see how she’s doing,” Nancy Valentine of Palm Beach County, Florida, told CBS News.
At Boston’s Logan Airport, Puerto Rican expats recounted their fear of drowning in Fiona’s floodwaters.
“We stayed in one room in a small corner that was safe, all night with no light or nothing,” Yolanda Rivera told CBS News. “It was very dark.”
In the Turks and Caicos Islands, officials reported minimal damage and no deaths despite the eye of the storm passing near Grand Turk, the island’s capital of the small British territory, on Tuesday morning.
The government imposed a curfew and urged people to flee flood-prone areas.
“The Turks and Caicos Islands have had an extraordinary experience in the past 24 hours,” Deputy Governor Anya Williams said. “He definitely came with his share of challenges.”
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