On Wednesday, Hurricane Fiona strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane as it moved northward over Puerto Rico, where it wreaked devastating flooding, and slammed the Dominican Republic and Turks & Caicos with torrential rain.
As it got farther away from the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos, the storm—the first significant hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean this year—gained power. According to the National Hurricane Center, Fiona was moving toward Bermuda with gusts of around 130 mph. The storm was expected to continue to intensify through Wednesday before perhaps fading this weekend.
Since Sunday, when it made landfall in Puerto Rico, Fiona has only gotten stronger. The Institute of Forensic Sciences in Puerto Rico announced the death toll Wednesday night. Power was knocked off by flash floods across the island, leaving Puerto Rico essentially undamaged since Hurricane Maria in 2017.
According to poweroutage.us, more than one million consumers were still without electricity on Wednesday, the fourth day in a row since the island-wide blackout started. Less than one-third of the island lacked access to electricity, and almost 40% had no water supply, according to a government emergency website.
Officials said that they had saved scores of patients from nursing homes and flooded regions in both Puerto Rico and its western neighbor, the Dominican Republic.
According to the nation’s emergency operations center, flooding in the Dominican Republic on Monday caused the destruction of hundreds of homes and the displacement of thousands of people. A 68-year-old man was crushed by a downed tree, while an 18-year-old woman was struck by a pole and killed.
Tuesday, the storm’s core moved from the Dominican Republic to the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos.
Fiona made landfall in Turks & Caicos as a Category 3 hurricane, the third-highest ranking for a hurricane that implies a big storm has developed. Residents of Turks and Caicos were advised to stay indoors as the region was battered by rain, winds, and floods on Tuesday. The authorities said there had been no reports of fatalities or major injuries on the islands.
Even though Fiona’s eye was leaving the islands, forecasters warned that as the storm became stronger, it would dump a lot of rain on the Turks and Caicos Islands and Bahamas on Wednesday.
Forecasters predicted that Fiona will veer northeast and go into regions of Eastern Canada. Late on Friday and early on Saturday, severe winds and up to 10 inches of rain are possible for Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and western Newfoundland.