Hurricane Fiona drenched the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday as a Category 3 storm after, where most people remained without electricity or running water and rescuers used heavy equipment to lift survivors to safety. The storm’s eye passed close to Grand Turk, the small British territory’s capital island, after the government imposed a curfew and urged people to flee flood-prone areas.
By late Tuesday night, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC), the storm was centered about 95 miles north of North Caicos Island, with hurricane-force winds extending up to 45 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 160 miles. The storm was moving in a north direction at about 8 mph.
Fiona was expected to approach Bermuda late Thursday, the NHC said, and is expected to strengthen over the next few days. The U.S. State Department issued an advisory Tuesday night telling U.S. citizens to “reconsider travel” to Bermuda.
While the storm was still lashing the archipelago late Tuesday, officials reported only a handful of downed trees and electric posts and no deaths. However, they noted that telecommunications on Grand Turk were severely affected.
“Fiona definitely has battled us over the last few hours, and we’re not out of the thick of it yet,” said Akierra Missick, minister of physical planning and infrastructure development.
Turks and Caicos could still see another 1 to 3 inches of rain from Fiona, while the Dominican Republic could see another 1 to 2 inches, the NHC forecasted, bringing the potential for even more flooding. In total, parts of Puerto Rico could receive as much as 35 inches of rain from the storm, while some portions of the Dominican Republic could see 20 inches.
“Storms are unpredictable,” Turks and Caicos Premier Washington Misick said in a statement from London, where he had been attending the. “You must therefore take every precaution to ensure your safety.”
Fiona was forecast to weaken before running into easternmost Canada over the weekend. It was not expected to threaten the U.S. mainland.
Fiona triggered a blackout when it hit Puerto Rico’s southwest corner on Sunday, the anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, which slammed into the island in 1989 as a Category 3 storm.
By Tuesday morning, authorities said they had restored power to nearly 300,000 of the island’s 1.47 million customers. Power was also restored to San Jorge Children and Women’s Hospital in San Juan Tuesday afternoon, Puerto Rico…