Hurricane Fiona dumped catastrophic flooding on Puerto Rico over the weekend, knocking out the entire island’s electrical grid and dropping as much as 30 inches of rain. Electricity was out across the island by 2pm ET Sunday, even before Fiona made official landfall at about 3:20 pm ET near Punta Tocon. Understanding the scope of the devastation will take days, if not weeks, as rivers ripped bridges from their moorings.
Shaky private grid
Fiona hit Puerto Rico just two days before the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, the deadliest disaster in the U.S. in the last century, due in part to the previous administration’s racist malfeasance. This is the second time in less than six months the entire colonial territory has been without electricity. Puerto Rico’s grid reliability has been shaky for years and last Thursday a senior VP of LUMA — the private utility that provides power to Puerto Ricans — could not provide Congress with an estimate of when it would be able to stabilize the grid and provide reliable electricity. Puerto Rico does not have voting representatives in Congress and does not have electoral votes for president.
The Category 1 storm, which is still dumping rain on Puerto Rico, slammed into the Dominican Republic near Boca de Yuma early this morning and is forecast to dump up to 12 inches of rain on the eastern and northern parts of the country. (Washington Post $, Axios, AP, Yale Climate Connections, NBC Miami, Axios, NPR, CNN, Bloomberg $, Axios, USA Today, El Nuevo Dia (es), El Nuevo Dia (es), EFE (es), El Nuevo Dia (es), El Nuevo Dia (es), Bloomberg $, NBC, AccuWeather, Gizmodo) (Weather Channel, ABC, The Hill; Maria Anniversary: Axios, AP, E&E $; LUMA: San Juan Daily Star; Dominican Republic: CNN, AP, Prensa Latina; Photos: Washington Post $; Projected path: Washington Post $; Climate Signals background: Hurricanes)