There is a possibility that the center of Fiona borders Puerto Rico, preventing a traditional “landfall”. But regardless, the impacts of the storm remain the same.
“Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours as Fiona moves near Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and over the southwestern Atlantic,” the hurricane center said. “Hurricane conditions are expected in Puerto Rico today, and are expected in parts of the eastern Dominican Republic tonight and Monday.”
Very heavy rain of 12 to 16 inches is forecast across a wide swath of Puerto Rico, with most of the rain expected by Sunday, and isolated spots in southern and eastern Puerto Rico could see up to 25 inches, according to the hurricane center.
The north and east of the Dominican Republic are also forecast to see 4 to 8 inches of rain, with isolated totals of up to 12 inches possible.
“These rains will produce life-threatening flash flooding and urban flooding in Puerto Rico and the eastern Dominican Republic, along with landslides and landslides in areas of higher ground,” the hurricane center said.
Storm surge poses another threat and could raise water levels 1 to 3 feet above normal tide levels along the southern coast of Puerto Rico and in the Dominican Republic, where onshore winds will be strongest. .
A hurricane warning, indicating that hurricane conditions are expected, was issued for Puerto Rico, including the islands of Vieques and Culebra, and was later expanded to include the eastern Dominican Republic from Cabo Caucedo to Cabo Francés Viejo. The US Virgin Islands and the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, from Cabo Francés Viejo west to Puerto Plata, are under a hurricane watch on Sunday morning, which means hurricane conditions are possible in the next 48 hours.
President Joe Biden on Sunday morning approved an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico, freeing up federal resources, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for emergency response and disaster relief efforts.
The threat will not end once the storm passes between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Further strengthening is expected, and the official forecast track indicates that Fiona could be a major hurricane by Wednesday as it moves east of the Bahamas and toward Bermuda.
“Fiona appears likely to become the first major Atlantic hurricane of this season in a few days,” the hurricane center said.
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