Turks and Caicos inhabitants are the latest victims of Hurricane Fiona’s fury as the islands experienced a Category 3 storm Tuesday. Nearly 3.1 million residents in Puerto Rico were left without power and nearly 1 million people in the Dominican were left without running water.
Hurricane conditions blasted Grand Turk, which is the small British territory’s capital island, on Tuesday morning right after the government imposed a curfew and urged people to immediately evacuate areas that are flood-prone.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center stated that certain parts of the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos would have “life-threatening” flooding Tuesday. Storm surge could possibly raise water levels in the British territory by as much as 5 to 8 feet above normal, the hurricane center explained.
Hurricane Fiona was centered around 40 miles from Grand Turk late Tuesday morning, with hurricane winds extending up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm force winds extending up to 150 miles.
The storm had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and was moving north-northwest at 9 mph, the hurricane center said. In addition, the storm will probably strengthen even more into a Category 4 hurricane as it heads to Bermuda on Friday.
It was predicted to weaken before running into easternmost Canada over the weekend. Some parts of the islands have received more than 25 inches of rain, with more falling on Tuesday.
National Guard Brig. Gen. Narciso Cruz said that this type of flooding is unprecedented. “There were communities that flooded in the storm that didn’t flood under Maria,” he said, in reference to the 2017 hurricane that left 3,000 people dead. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Fiona was not expected to effect the U.S. mainland.