Hurricane In Puerto Rico Causes Total Blackout And Devastating Flooding

1,000 rescued as Hurricane Fiona cripples Puerto Rico with flooding and power outages before slamming the Dominican Republic – CNN

Hurricane Fiona destroyed homes and caused flooding in Puerto Rico, but even Puerto Ricans who remember the wrath of Hurricane Maria in 2017 say Fiona might be more destructive.

By midday Monday, 1,000 people had been rescued in Puerto Rico from mudslides and catastrophic flooding. One hundred first responders from New York will head to help.

Fiona made landfall Monday morning in the Dominican Republic after crossing onto land a day earlier in southwestern Puerto Rico. The Guanajibo River in Hormigueros surpassed its previous record height set during Hurricane Maria.

Fiona has already turned deadly in the Caribbean, and could become a major hurricane by Wednesday. More than 1.4 million Puerto Rico power customers have lost electricity, officials said. It could be days before power is restored, the main power utility in Puerto Rico said Sunday.

Puerto Rico’s health secretary said Monday that the power system at all hospitals in the Medical Center Complex was restored and that patients were safe and receiving the medical care they needed.

Fiona, a hurricane, slammed the Dominican Republic community of Boca de Yuma early Monday, whipping maximum sustained winds of 90 mph and dumping 12 inches of rain. It’s expected to intensify as it moves north over warm water.

Power outages have become a familiar crisis for many who live in Puerto Rico. Five months ago, residents suffered another islandwide blackout.

Samuel Rivera and his mother Lourdes Rodriguez lived without power for about a year after Maria, and they were concerned Sunday that a nearby river might overflow and trees surrounding their home could be felled by the powerful winds.

US President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration to provide federal assistance to disaster relief efforts on Sunday. More than 300 FEMA emergency workers were on the ground to respond to the crisis.

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John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.