Fiona Strengthens Into The 1st Major Hurricane Of The Season

By Bill Galluccio

September 20, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

After battering the Dominican Republic, Hurricane Fiona strengthened into a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of more than 115 mph, becoming the first major storm of the Atlantic Hurricane season.

Around 800 people had to be rescued from raging floodwaters, while over 500 people took refuge in one of the country's 29 shelters. Over a million people lack access to running water as Fiona damaged nearly 60 of the nation's aqueducts.

Four people have died as Fiona pummeled the Caribbean before striking Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Two people were killed in Puerto Rico, including a 58-year-old man who drowned in a river behind his home and another man who tried to fill his generator with gasoline while it was running. Fiona also killed one person in the French territory of Guadalupe and one person in the Dominican Republic.

While Fiona is moving away, it could still dump several more inches of rain across Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Fiona is expected to strengthen into a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 130-156 mph, as it moves toward the Turks and Caicos.

"Heavy rainfall and localized life-threatening flash flooding continues over portions of the Dominican Republic today. Heavy rains around the center of Fiona impacts the Turks and Caicos through this afternoon with continued life-threatening flooding. Localized additional flash and urban flooding is possible in southern portions of Puerto Rico," the National Hurricane Service said.

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