Hurricane Fiona Heads Toward Dominican Republic After Lashing Puerto Rico

Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico on Sunday (September 18), bringing high winds and flooding rains, nearly five years to the day after Hurricane Maria battered the island.

Fiona knocked out power to all of Puerto Rico, and nearly 200,000 are without potable water. Officials said they have evacuated over 1,000 people and set up 130 storm shelters.

Most of the island remains under a flood warning as the storm could dump up to 30 inches of rain in some areas. In addition to the floods, officials are worried about the potential for mudslides.

Fiona is now making its way toward the Dominican Republic. Hurricane warnings and watches have been issued for the island as the residents brace for heavy rains and high winds.

“These rains will continue to produce life-threatening and catastrophic flooding along with mudslides and landslides across Puerto Rico. Life-threatening flash and urban flooding is likely for eastern portions of the Dominican Republic,” the National Hurricane Center said.

After passing over the Dominican Republic, Fiona is expected to continue to strengthen and could become a major Hurricane by the middle of the week.

“Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph (150 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is expected during the next few days after the hurricane emerges over the southwestern Atlantic, and Fiona is forecast to become a major hurricane by Wednesday,” the National Hurricane Center added.

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