Hurricane Fiona: 1,000 rescued as storm cripples Puerto Rico with flooding and


With intense rain expected to keep producing mudslides and catastrophic flooding, about 1,000 people in Puerto Rico had been rescued by midday Monday by emergency crews, said Maj. Gen. José Reyes, the Puerto Rico National Guard’s adjutant general.

One hundred first responders from New York will head to the US territory to help as soon as weather allows, Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said, adding governors of New Jersey and California have also pledged to send help.

Fiona made landfall Monday morning in the Dominican Republic after crossing onto land a day earlier in southwestern Puerto Rico.

One area north of the city of Ponce reported over 2 feet of rain in 24 hours.

A house is deluged Sunday in Cayey, Puerto Rico. Three people inside the home were reportedly rescued.

Rescues were underway Monday in the western Puerto Rican municipalities of Mayaguez and Hormigueros, officials said. The Guanajibo River in Hormigueros surpassed its previous record height set during Maria.

Meanwhile, southern Puerto Rico can expect another 4 to 6 inches of rain or more early this week — meaning Fiona will leave the island deluged with 12 to 30 inches of rain, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said.

“These rainfall amounts will continue to produce life-threatening and catastrophic flooding along with mudslides and landslides across Puerto Rico,” the hurricane center said.

Fiona has already turned deadly in the Caribbean. At least one death was reported in the heavily-damaged city of Basse-Terre, the capitol of the French territory of Guadeloupe, the vice president of the territory’s environmental agency said.
And Fiona could become a major hurricane by Wednesday, with winds reaching 111 mph. That would make Fiona the first major hurricane of the year in the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center said.

Massive power outages cripple Puerto Rico

More than 1.4 million Puerto Rico power customers — such as homes and businesses — have lost electricity, officials said. The entire island was in the dark early Monday, PowerOutage.us reported.

And it could be days before power is restored, the main power utility in Puerto Rico said Sunday, as daily high temperatures after Monday are forecast to reach the mid-80s to 90s.

Several transmission line outages contributing to the blackout, LUMA Energy said. Power will be restored “gradually,” Pierluisi said in a Facebook post.

Hurricane evacuees take refuge at a public school in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico.

By late Monday morning, a bit of good news from island’s capital: The power system came back up for hospitals in San Juan’s medical complex, Puerto Rico Health Secretary Dr. Carlos Mellado López said. The complex is the island’s most important and stretches across 227 acres, according to the Health Administration of Puerto Rico.

“The power system at all the hospitals in the Medical Center Complex has been restored,” Mellado tweeted Sunday night. “Our patients are safe and receiving the medical care they need.”

Fiona’s latest path

Intense rainfall will continue producing mudslides, landslides and catastrophic flooding across Puerto Rico through Monday night, the National Hurricane Center said.

Fiona could intensify as it moves across the Atlantic Ocean.

The hurricane slammed the Dominican Republic community of Boca de Yuma early Monday, whipping maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

Life-threatening flash flooding and urban…



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