All of Puerto Rico Loses Power

Hurricane Fiona has made landfall
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2022 3:25 PM CDT
All of Puerto Rico Loses Power
A man sits in front of a beach watching waves break Saturday as the storm neared in San Juan, Puerto Rico.   (AP Photo/Alejandro Granadillo)

The tropical storm became a hurricane Sunday, as winds and rain intensified and electricity was knocked out to all of Puerto Rico. Hurricane Fiona caused the power grid to fail, officials said, imposing a blackout on all 1.4 million customers. At the same time, the National Hurricane Center advised Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to prepare for "catastrophic flooding," the Washington Post reports. President Biden approved an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico early Sunday. The hurricane made landfall in the afternoon about 15 miles south-southeast of Mayaguez, per the AP.

Rainfall of up to 25 inches in isolated areas could cause landslides and catastrophic flooding, forecasters said. "It's time to take action and be concerned," said Nino Correa, the emergency management commissioner. The entire island was covered by the storm's clouds. Sustained winds of 85mph were reported Sunday afternoon, as were tropical storm-force winds extended as far as 140 miles from the center of the hurricane. Health care centers were trying to keep running on generators, though some of the machines weren't working. More than 3,000 homes have had only a blue tarp for a roof since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico five years ago Tuesday. (Read more Puerto Rico stories.)

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