Tropical Storm Fiona is expected to become a hurricane as it crosses Puerto Rico. Source – GOES EAST/NWS satellite image.
Tropical Storm Fiona was expected to intensify into a hurricane as it approached Puerto Rico on Saturday, threatening to pour up to 20 inches of rain over parts of the US.
20:00 National Hurricane Center consultation. shows that Tropical Storm Fiona is 145 miles (235 km) southeast of Ponce, Puerto Rico, moving west-northwest at about 8 miles per hour (15 km/h). In Fiona, the maximum wind speed is 60 miles per hour (95 km per hour).
This movement is expected to continue into tonight as the storm passes near or over the island before the storm changes to a northwesterly on Sunday. This track is expected to continue until Tuesday.
Fiona was expected to become a hurricane before reaching the southern coast of Puerto Rico. CBS News.
“We’re already starting to feel the effects of it,” Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi said at a press conference where the lights went out briefly as he spoke, prompting groans and laughter across the island. “We must not underestimate this storm.”
Officials said the expected heavy rains would be dangerous as the island’s soil is already saturated with water. “We’re not saying the winds aren’t dangerous, but we’re preparing for a historic event in terms of rain,” said Ernesto Morales, National Weather Service forecaster in San Juan.
Many Puerto Ricans are concerned about serious power outages, as the reconstruction of the island’s power system, destroyed by Hurricane Maria in 2017, began only recently, RIA Novosti reports. NPR.org. The grid remains fragile and power outages occur on a daily basis with around 37,000 customers already on dark Saturday.
Luma, the company that manages the island’s power transmission and distribution, said it had brought on an additional 100 line workers ahead of the storm, but warned of “significant” outages over the weekend.
Death in Guadeloupe
Tropical Storm Fiona makes landfall french caribbean island guadeloupe One person died as a result of overnight flooding on Saturday, according to local authorities. The region braces for heavy rainfall and potential landslides over the weekend as the storm moves west.
The local prefect said on Twitter that a man was found dead on Saturday after his house was swept away by floods in the Basse-Terre district of Guadeloupe.
Authorities said they had recorded wind gusts of up to 74 mph (120 km/h), which would be considered a Category 1 hurricane. They also said that 9 inches (23 centimeters) of rain fell in the Gros Morne area in three hours.
Puerto Rico prepares for Fiona
In Puerto Rico, authorities have opened shelters and closed public beaches, casinos, theaters and museums, urging people to stay at home. Officials also donated hundreds of endangered Puerto Rican parrots to the orphanage.
“It’s time to activate your emergency plan, connect with your relatives and help them, especially the lonely elderly,” said Dr. Gloria Amador, who runs a nonprofit health organization in central Puerto Rico.
Gov. Pierluisi said $550 million in emergency funds was made available for the hurricane’s aftermath, as well as enough food to feed 200,000 people for 20 days, three meals a day.
Fiona is forecast to bring 5 to 10 inches (13 to 25 centimeters) of rain in east and south Puerto Rico, with up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) in some places.