“The public has again been asked to stay at home, on all islands, as it is not safe to travel on roads, especially when power lines and cables are down,” the National Emergency Operations Center said in a press release.
The center said the storm would slowly move away from the islands on Tuesday and Wednesday night and begin approaching Bermuda Thursday, when up to 3 inches of rain is expected and create “life-threatening waves that rupture existing conditions.” The Tropical Storm Watch is issued by Bermuda Weather Service.
At least two people have died in the severe weather in the Dominican Republic, according to Major General Juan Manuel Méndez Garcia, director of the country’s emergency operations center. Director Orelis Esther Jimenez, 18, said she was traveling by motorbike when she was struck by a power pole that had fallen due to strong winds. She was taken to the hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
On Monday, officials there also confirmed the death of a man in Nagoa, in the northeastern Dominican Republic, after being struck by strong winds in a tree. One death was also reported in the French province of Guadeloupe, which was hit by Fiona late last week, and two in Puerto Rico.
In Puerto Rico, 58-year-old Gilberto Ayala Aponte swept a swollen river behind his home in Comerio. Another man, 70, Jose Cruz Roman, died in a fire that occurred when he was trying to put gasoline into his generator while it was running, officials said.
Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi said on Tuesday that the damage is catastrophic in the territory’s center and its southern and southeastern regions.
The governor said a large portion of the population should have electricity by late Wednesday, but the greater damage in the southern part of the island means it will take longer to restore there.
More than 2,000 people are working to restore energy, Mario Hurtado, LUMA Energy’s regulatory director, told a CNN reporter on Tuesday. LUMA operates the power grid in Puerto Rico.
Fiona gets stronger as she rushes north
Hurricane status persists in Turks and Caicos Tuesday evening, and tropical storms — winds of at least 39 mph — are expected over parts of the southeastern Bahamas over the next few hours, the Hurricane Center reported Tuesday evening.
Over the weekend, Fiona could make landfall in eastern Canada as a hurricane. It’s too early to know exactly where or how strong it is.
Fiona leaves behind a devastated Puerto Rico
Juan Miguel Gonzalez, a Puerto Rican business owner, told CNN that his neighborhood had not yet finished recovering from Maria when she hit Fiona. But this time, he says, the floods caused more damage to their homes.
“A lot of people – more than (through) Maria – have lost their homes now … have lost everything in their homes to the floods,” Gonzalez told CNN on Monday. “Maria’s wind was stormy. But this wind, with all the rain, destroyed everything in the house.”
Officials said water service was also disrupted for most people, because river flooding affected filtration operations and must subside before safe treatment can resume. The province’s Canal and Sewerage Authority said about 60% of customers on the island had no running water on Tuesday morning.
Pierluisi said more than 1,200 people were staying in about 70 shelters on the island on Tuesday. Major General Jose Reyes, an assistant general in the Puerto Rican National Guard, said emergency crews were battling relentless rain to save nearly 1,000 lives as of midday Monday.
On Tuesday, the governor said school buildings will be checked to make sure it is safe for students to return to class in the coming days.
“With damage assessments in place, the president said the number of support personnel will increase significantly,” the White House said.
New York Governor Cathy Hochhol also announced that the state will send 100 state troops to assist relief efforts in Puerto Rico. She also said that teams from the New York Energy Authority are available to help restore energy.
More than a million customers left without water service in the Dominican Republic
As of Monday afternoon, at least 1018,564 customers across the Dominican Republic had no access to running water as 59 aqueducts were out of service and many others were only partially operating, according to Jose Luis Germain Mejia. National Emergency Management Officer.
Emergency management officials said some in the Dominican Republic were also out of power on Monday with 10 circuits out. It is unclear how many people were affected by the outage.
Correction: This story has been updated with the correct age of the second victim in Puerto Rico, following updated information from officials.
CNN’s Leila Santiago, Nikki Carvajal, Robert Shackleford, Artemis Moustachian, Taylor Ward, Holly Yan, Christina Maxuris and Jamil Lynch contributed to this report.
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