Fiona now a Category 4 hurricane, most of Puerto Rico remains powerless

Puerto Rico Tropical Weather
Posted at 9:44 AM, Sep 21, 2022

Hurricane Fiona reached Category 4 status on Wednesday as Bermuda issued a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch.

The powerful storm carried top sustained winds of 130 mph Wednesday morning after sweeping through the northern Carribean.

On Sunday, the hurricane struck Puerto Rico as a Category 1 system, but was slow to move away from the island. The hurricane left nearly the entire island without power and many areas flooded.

As of Wednesday morning, power has been restored to 300,000 customers, Puerto Rico’s power agency LUMA reported. The figure represents less than one-fourth of all electric customers on the island.

The hurricane came nearly five years to the day after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, knocking out power to most of the island for months. Political leaders say more work is necessary to help Puerto Rico rebuild its power infrastructure.

“The situation is a disaster. Enough is enough,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “The Puerto Rican Energy Bureau must push PREPA and LUMA not only to restore power, but to once and for all create a distributed more resilient grid and we will back them up.”

Exacerbating issues, the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for parts of the island’s northern regions. That heat index could reach 112 degrees in some regions on Wednesday.