Nearly 800 people were brought to safety by emergency workers in the Dominican Republic, according to the country’s emergency management director of operations, Juan Manuel Mendez. At least 519 people were taking refuge in the country’s 29 shelters Monday, he said.
At least four people have died the severe weather, including one in the French territory of Guadeloupe, which Fiona slammed 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 died in a fire accident that occurred while he was trying to put gasoline in his generator while it was turned on, officials said.
As of Monday afternoon, at least 1,018,564 customers across the Dominican Republic had no access to running water as 59 aqueducts were out of service and several others were only partially functioning, according to Jose Luis German Mejia, a national emergency management official.
Some in the Dominican Republic were also without electricity Monday as 10 electric circuits went offline, emergency management officials said. It’s unclear how many people are impacted by the outages.
Fiona strengthens as it pushes north
This is the first major hurricane — Category 3 or higher — of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season.
Those islands could see 4 to 8 inches of rain Tuesday on top of what they received earlier, as well as storm surges — ocean water pushed onto land — of 5 to 8 feet, according to the hurricane center.
Hurricane conditions could be seen in Turks and Caicos into Tuesday afternoon, and tropical storm conditions — winds of at least 39 mph — were expected to spread over the southeastern Bahamas on Tuesday morning.
Over the weekend, Fiona may make landfall in eastern Canada as a hurricane. It is too early to know exactly where or how strong it might be.
Fiona leaves behind devastated Puerto Rico
Fiona’s outer bands still were lashing Puerto Rico late Monday, soaking regions already struggling under dangerous flooding and destruction.
Juan Miguel Gonzalez, a business owner in Puerto Rico, told CNN that his neighborhood had still not finished its recovery from Maria when Fiona struck. But this time, he says, the flooding brought even deeper damage to their homes.
“A lot of people — more than (during) Maria — lost their houses now … lost everything in their houses because of the flooding,” Gonzalez told CNN on Monday. “Maria was tough winds. But this one, with all the rain, it just destroyed everything in the house.”
Most of the damage inflicted on the island is rain-related, Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi told CNN on Monday evening.
Critically, power was restored to one of Puerto Rico’s most vital medical facilities on Monday, according to the territory’s health secretary Dr. Carlos Mellado López.
Water service also was interrupted for most, because river flooding affected filtration processes and must recede before safe treatment can resume, officials said. On Tuesday morning, about 60% of customers on the island had no running water, the territory’s aqueduct and sewer authority said.
Emergency crews battled against unrelenting rain to rescue approximately 1,000 people as of midday Monday, said Maj. Gen. José Reyes, adjutant general of the Puerto Rico National Guard.
“As damage assessments are conducted, the President said that number of support personnel will increase substantially,” the White House said.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul also announced the state would send 100 state troopers to assist relief efforts in Puerto Rico. She also said teams from New York Power Authority are available to help with power restoration.
CNN’s Leyla Santiago in Puerto Rico and CNN’s Nikki Carvajal, Robert Shackelford, Melissa Alonso, Artemis Moshtaghian, Taylor Ward, Holly Yan and Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report
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