The National Hurricane Center said the Category 1 storm came ashore near Boca de Yuma at 3:30 a.m. with maximum winds of 90 mph.
As the storm slowly moves to the northwest, heavy rain is still falling on Puerto Rico, where more than 1.4 million people are without power.
Fiona will continue to bomb Puerto Rico and the eastern parts of the Dominican Republic through Monday. Eastern regions of the Dominican Republic may also experience flooding as well as mudslides and landslides in higher areas, according to the Hurricane Center. Fiona can bring a total of up to 30 inches of rain to Puerto Rico and up to 12 inches to the east and north of the Dominican Republic.
It may take days before power is restored, LUMA Energy, Puerto Rico’s major power utility, said in a statement Sunday, adding that “several transmission line outages” are contributing to the blackouts. Governor Pedro Pierluisi said in a Facebook post that the process would take place “gradually”.
Samuel Rivera and his mother, Lourdes Rodriguez, lived without electricity for about a year after hitting Maria, Rivera told CNN reporter Lila Santiago. On Sunday morning, they lost power again, raising concerns similar to those they had five years ago.
They said they were also concerned that a nearby river could overflow and that trees around their home might be scattered by high winds.
Life-threatening flood tears across Puerto Rico
With Hurricane Fiona making landfall on Sunday, most of Puerto Rico was under flash flood warning in anticipation of heavy rain. The San Juan National Weather Service has warned of “catastrophic” life-threatening flood conditions.
Several rivers on the eastern side of the island were in stages from moderate to major flooding on Sunday afternoon, including a southeastern river that rose more than 12 feet in less than 7 hours. By Sunday night, the National Weather Service had also issued flood warnings for southern parts of central Puerto Rico.
In response to the dangers facing Puerto Rico, President Joe Biden approved a declaration of emergency early Sunday to provide federal assistance to disaster relief efforts.
Ann Pink, the agency’s associate director for response and recovery, told CNN that more than 300 FEMA emergency workers were on the ground responding to the crisis.
“Our hearts go out to the residents who are once again going through another catastrophic event five years later,” Pink said, referring to the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Maria. This time, she said, FEMA is planning to implement the lessons learned from the 2017 crisis.
“We were much more prepared. We have four warehouses now in strategic locations across the island, which include goods, and a much larger supply than in the past,” she said.
“We’re there proactively – and before a storm hits – to make sure we’re coordinating. All of our planning efforts during those blue-sky days can be capitalized when it rains.”
Leila Santiago, Jamil Lynch, Alfonso Serrano, Caitlin Kaiser, Allie Malloy, Haley Brink, Dakin Andoni and Robert Shackleford of CNN contributed to this report.
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