Most of Puerto Rico is still without power as Fiona reaches the Dominican Republic

Most of Puerto Rico is still without power as Fiona reaches the Dominican Republic

Published September 19, 2022
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Juliana Kim

Nicole Werbeck

A home is submerged in floodwaters caused by Hurricane Fiona in Cayey, Puerto Rico, on Sunday. Stephanie Rojas/AP hide caption

A home is submerged in floodwaters caused by Hurricane Fiona in Cayey, Puerto Rico, on Sunday.

Hurricane Fiona has reached the shores of the Dominican Republic on Monday morning, after causing flash flooding, mudslides and an island-wide blackout in Puerto Rico.

As of Monday morning, the category 1 hurricane was 35 miles southeast of Samaná, a coastal town in the northeast Dominican Republic, according to the National Hurricane Center. It had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph and was moving northwest at 8 mph. The storm is forecasted to travel near or east of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday.

In Puerto Rico, the extent of the damage is still unclear as the island continues to see heavy rainfall and massive flooding. But island officials have said that some roads, bridges and other infrastructure have been damaged or washed away as a result of the downpour.

Most of the island also remains without power, according to utility companies’ reports tracked by PowerOutage.us.

The island’s power crews were able to restore electricity to about 100,000 customers living in the northeast region near the capital San Juan, Luma Energy, the island’s private electric utility, wrote on Facebook.

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In a news conference on Sunday evening, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said he could not give an estimate of when power might be fully up and running. However, he added it would be a “matter of days,” and not months, to restore the grid — referring to the drawn-out power restoration after Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Hurricane Fiona made landfall two days before the five year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico as a category 4 storm that killed about 3,000 people and nearly destroyed the island’s electricity system.

President Biden has approved an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico on Sunday, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts.

Adrian Florido contributed reporting.

A worker cuts an electricity pole that was downed by Hurricane Fiona as it blocks a road in Cayey, Puerto Rico, Sunday. Stephanie Rojas/AP hide caption

A worker cuts an electricity pole that was downed by Hurricane Fiona as it blocks a road in Cayey, Puerto Rico, Sunday.

Nelson Cirino’s home stands with its roof torn off by the winds of Hurricane Fiona in Loiza, Puerto Rico, Sunday. Alejandro Granadillo/AP hide caption

READ ALSO :  All of Puerto Rico is without electricity as Hurricane Fiona makes landfall

A road is blocked by a mudslide caused by Hurricane Fiona in Cayey, Puerto Rico. Stephanie Rojas/AP hide caption

A road is blocked by a mudslide caused by Hurricane Fiona in Cayey, Puerto Rico.

A worker of the Loiza municipality calls on residents to evacuate due to imminent flooding due to the rains of Hurricane Fiona, in Loiza, Puerto Rico. Alejandro Granadillo/AP hide caption

A flooded road is seen during the passage of hurricane Fiona in Villa Blanca, Puerto Rico. Melvin Pereira/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

A flooded road is seen during the passage of hurricane Fiona in Villa Blanca, Puerto Rico.

A man stands near a flooded road during the passage of Hurricane Fiona in Villa Blanca, Puerto Rico. Melvin Pereira/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

People clean debris from a road after a mudslide caused by Hurricane Fiona in Cayey, Puerto Rico. Stephanie Rojas/AP hide caption

A river swollen with rain caused by Hurricane Fiona speeds through Cayey, Puerto Rico. Stephanie Rojas/AP hide caption

A road is flooded by the rains of Hurricane Fiona in Cayey, Puerto Rico. Stephanie Rojas/AP hide caption