Now a Category 1 hurricane, Hurricane Fiona has plunged the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico into darkness, knocking out power for the entire island.
Hurricane Fiona made landfall at 3:20 p.m. Sunday along Puerto Rico’s southern coast of Punta Tocon, bringing with it winds reaching 85 miles per hour, torrential downpours, floods and the possibility of mudslides, the National Weather Center reported.
Governor Pedro Pierlusi said on Twitter that officials with the island’s power grid are working to restore the system.
“The @AEEONLINE and @lumaenergypr continue to work in the emergency, they inform me that the system is starting with the Palo Seco plant,” Pierlusi wrote. “Then Monacillos and Central San Juan will be energized to continue restarting the system. Load will be added gradually.”
Officials quickly noted that Hurricane Fiona would not be a repeat of what happened during and after Hurricane Maria. Fiona hit Puerto Rico nearly five years to the day after Maria devastated the island, killing thousands and leaving Puerto Rico without power for several months.
LUMA, Puerto Rico’s power company, tweeted Sunday, “We ask our customers for their support and patience as our LUMA crews work hard to restore power during this dangerous storm. We are coordinating with the NMEAD and other agencies, and we will continue to keep our clients informed.”
Before it made landfall there, Hurricane Fiona soaked the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, killing one man, according to French President Emmanuel Macron. Macron declared a state of emergency there due to the flooding.
The Dominican Republic is also in Fiona’s path and the National Hurricane Center has warned there could be “catastrophic flooding.” A flood watch is also in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Officials say the weather is not expected to improve in Puerto Rico until late Sunday night or Monday.