Hurricane Fiona has caused major damage to the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico, leaving many without power and water access days after passing through. Fiona moved slowly toward Puerto Rico but was only a Category 1 hurricane when it touched down last Sunday. Different parts of the island received anywhere from 6 to 30 inches of rain, with the southern part receiving the most rain. The rain also caused flooding in rivers across the island, with the Arecibo River rising 13 feet in one hour. The rises led to flash flooding and mudslides in certain areas with some regions measuring 25 inches of rain by Monday morning.
One person was killed during the storm, and as of Tuesday, Sept. 20, no one was reported missing. The entire island lost power for a period of time, but work has begun to restore power. More than 376,000 of LUMA Energy’s 1.4 million customers in Puerto Rico had their power restored by Wednesday. This is a large improvement from when Hurricane Maria hit in 2017, when it took over a week to get power back to any part of the island. There is still plenty of work to do, and President Joe Biden announced an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico on Sunday.
After passing through Puerto Rico, Fiona headed north and hit the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos as a Category 4 storm, moving at about 130 mph. It then roared past Bermuda Thursday, with the nation avoiding a direct hit but still suffering from heavy downpours and winds of up to 125 mph. It isn’t forecasted to bring rain to the eastern United States as it continues north but could bring heavy winds and storm surge on the coast.
The storm struck Nova Scotia, Canada, on Saturday. It was the worst storm system to hit eastern Canada, an area where hurricanes usually die down before reaching. The storm flooded coastal towns and swept homes into the ocean. Hundreds of thousands of people were reportedly out of power after wind gusts of nearly 100 mph tore through eastern Canada.