Hurricane Fiona knocks out all power in Puerto Rico

POTUS approves emergency declaration for Puerto Rico
Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 3:28 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2022 at 8:01 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is currently without any power as Hurricane Fiona makes landfall Sunday night. The island experienced hurricane-force winds, a complete electrical blackout, and widespread flooding. This is an incredibly dangerous situation, as “catastrophic flooding” is expected through Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Fiona creates flash flooding and widespread rainfall across the U.S. territory
Hurricane Fiona creates flash flooding and widespread rainfall across the U.S. territory(KBTX Weather)

The President of the United States has approved an emergency declaration for the U.S. territory, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is expected to deploy to coordinate disaster relief.

Hurricane Fiona as of the 2:35 PM Advisory

Maximum Wind SpeedLocationMovementPressure
85 mph15 Miles SSE of Mayagues, Puerto RicoNW at 9 mph986 mb

The National Hurricane Center is forecasting continued downpouring rain in Puerto Rico throughout the rest of Sunday night and early Monday morning. Urban areas are expected to see “life-threatening flash floods and urban flooding.” In areas of higher terrain, dangerous mudslides and landslides are expected. The video below shows intense flash flooding earlier this morning.

Hurricane Fiona made landfall in the southeastern portions of the territory around 2:20 PM CDT as a Category 1 Hurricane. Maximum wind speeds measured were near 85 mph, just under the requirements for an EF-1 tornado. Portions of the Eastern Dominican Republic are also expected to experience tropical storm force winds as the Hurricane tracks northwest.

Storm surge is also possible along the southern portions of the island. Strong winds could lead to 1-3 feet of storm surge pushing into the island. Unexpected flooding from intense rainfall and storm surge is one of the most dangerous hazards of a Hurricane landfall, made especially deadly by the lack of communication due to the current electrical blackout.

Nearly 1-3 ft of storm surge expected as Fiona makes landfall
Nearly 1-3 ft of storm surge expected as Fiona makes landfall(National Weather Service)

The storm is expected to push northwestward after its landfall over Puerto Rico, and then turn out eastward towards the Atlantic Ocean.

It is forecasted to strengthen as it moves northward, becoming a major hurricane (Category 3+) by Wednesday morning. As it continues northward, the storm could bring heavy rain and tropical storm force winds to the Turks and Caicos islands and the southeastern Bahamas by Monday night.

Fiona is expected to reach major hurricane status as it moves away from populated areas. Once it is eastward enough, it should not pose a threat to any island nations or the United States.