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Hurricane Fiona leaves one dead as it barrels toward landfall in Puerto Rico

A storm that has already left one person dead strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday as it barreled toward Puerto Rico and threatened to drop massive amounts of rain on the island’s southern coast.

President Biden made an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico on Sunday, as FEMA prepared to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, which was anticipated to bring up to 25 inches of rain, with most affected areas seeing between 12 and 16 inches.

Fiona, then a tropical storm, killed one man in the French territory of Guadeloupe on Friday after his home was washed away by floods. His body was discovered on Saturday.

The storm was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday as it reached sustained winds of 80 mph, and churned about 50 miles south of the city of Ponce.

“These rains will produce life-threatening flash flooding and urban flooding across Puerto Rico and the eastern Dominican Republic, along with mudslides and landslides in areas of higher terrain,” the the National Hurricane Center said.

“What worries me most is the rain,” forecaster Ernesto Morales with the National Weather Service said.

The National Weather Service said Saturday that the Blanco River in the island’s southeast is already overflowing and told those who live nearby to flee.

The storm was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday as it reached sustained winds of 80 mph.
The storm was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday as it reached sustained winds of 80 mph.
LARA BALAIS/AFP via Getty Images
The area expected to be hit by the hurricane is still reeling from a string of earthquakes in 2019 that cause significant destruction.
The area expected to be hit by the hurricane is still reeling from a string of earthquakes in 2019 that caused significant destruction.
LARA BALAIS/AFP via Getty Images
Fiona will land just two days before the five year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, the Category 5 hurricane that destroyed Puerto Rico’s power grid and killed around 3,000 people.
Fiona will land just two days before the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, the Category 5 hurricane that destroyed Puerto Rico’s power grid and killed around 3,000 people.
AP Photo/Alejandro Granadillo
President Biden made an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico on Sunday, as FEMA prepared to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona.
President Biden made an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico on Sunday, as FEMA prepared to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona.
AP Photo/Alejandro Granadillo
The National Weather Service said Saturday that the Blanco River in the island’s southeast is already overflowing and told those who live nearby to flee.
The National Weather Service said Saturday that the Blanco River in the island’s southeast is already overflowing and told those who live nearby to flee.
AP Photo/Alejandro Granadillo
A storm that has already left one person dead strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday as it barreled toward Puerto Rico.
A storm that has already left one person dead strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday as it barreled toward Puerto Rico.
AP Photo/Alejandro Granadillo
Hurricane Fiona has already killed one person as it continues to drop tons of rain on Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Fiona has already killed one person as it continues to drop tons of rain on Puerto Rico.
NOAA via AP

The area expected to be hit by the hurricane is still reeling from a string of earthquakes in 2019 that cause significant destruction.

Fiona will land just two days before the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, the Category 5 hurricane that destroyed Puerto Rico’s power grid and killed around 3,000 people.

With Post Wires

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