Nearly 800 emergency workers in the Dominican Republic were brought to safety, according to Juan Manuel Mendez, Dominican Republic’s director of emergency management operations. At least 519 people took refuge in 29 shelters in the country on Monday, he said.
At least four people have died in severe weather, including one in the French territory of Guadeloupe, which Fiona blasted late last week; two in Puerto Rico; and one in the Dominican Republic, according to officials.
In Puerto Rico, a 58-year-old man was swept away by a swollen river behind his home in Comerío, and another man in his 30s caught fire while trying to add gasoline to a generator to turn. up, officials said.
At least 1,018,564 customers in the Dominican Republic were without tap water as of Monday afternoon, as 59 aqueducts were out of service and several others were only partially operating, according to state emergency management officer Jose Luis German Mejia.
Some people in the Dominican Republic also lost power on Monday as 10 circuits went offline, emergency management officials said. It is unclear how many people were affected by the outage.
Fiona strengthens as she pushes north
It was the first major hurricane of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season — a Category 3 or higher hurricane.
According to the Hurricane Center, the islands could receive 4 to 8 inches of rain early Tuesday, as well as storm surge — where water pushes the water to land — or 5 to 8 feet.
Hurricane conditions are likely in the Turks and Caicos Islands by Tuesday afternoon, with tropical storm conditions (winds of at least 39 mph) expected to spread to the southeastern Bahamas by Tuesday morning.
Fiona could make landfall in eastern Canada as a hurricane over the weekend. It’s too early to know exactly where or how strong it might be.
Fiona leaves ravaged Puerto Rico behind
Fiona’s outlying band was still ravaging Puerto Rico early Tuesday, submerging an area already struggling with dangerous flooding and destruction.
Puerto Rico business owner Juan Miguel Gonzalez told CNN his community hadn’t recovered from Maria when Fiona struck . But this time, he said, the floods brought deeper damage to their homes.
Gonzalez told CNN on Monday: “A lot of people – not just (in) Maria – have lost their houses now … because of the flooding and everything in their houses. “Maria was a strong wind. But this time, with all the rain, it destroyed everything in the house.”
Puerto Rico’s governor said most of the damage on the island was rain-related. Pedro Pierluisi told CNN Monday night.
Power was restored to one of Puerto Rico’s most critical medical facilities on Monday, according to the region’s health secretary, Dr. Carlos Merado Lopez.
Water service was also disrupted for most people, officials said, because the flooding of the river affected the filtration process and had to step back before safe disposal could be resumed. About 60 percent of customers on the island were without running water on Tuesday morning, the area’s Aqueduct and Sewer Authority said.
As of midday Monday, emergency crews battled the incessant rain and rescued about 1,000 people. General Puerto Rico National Guard Lieutenant General Jose Reyes.
“If a damage assessment is conducted, the president has indicated that the number of support personnel will increase substantially,” the White House said.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul also announced that the state will send 100 state troopers to assist Puerto Rico’s rescue efforts. She also said the NYPA team could help restore power.
CNN Puerto Rico’s Leyla Santiago and CNN’s Nikki Carvajal, Robert Shackelford, Melissa Alonso, Artemis Moshtaghian, Taylor Ward, Holly Yan and Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report