Tropical Storm Fiona is now Hurricane Fiona, the National Hurricane Center announced Sunday morning.
A hurricane warning is in effect for Puerto Rico and the east coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Caucedo to Cabo Frances Viejo, the National Hurricane Center said.
The hurricane warning “means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning zone, in this case within the next 24 hours,” according to an announcement from the National Hurricane Center. “Preparations to protect life and property must be completed.”
A hurricane watch is in effect for the northern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Frances Viejo to Puerto Plata, which means this area could experience hurricane-like conditions within the next two days.
On Sunday morning, the center of the hurricane was expected to “move near or over Puerto Rico this afternoon or evening” before moving near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic on Sunday evening and Monday, the report said. National Hurricane Center.
Fiona is expected to move near or east of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday.
Winds have already increased to nearly 80 miles per hour, and are expected to get even stronger over the next two days, according to the National Hurricane Center, which added that the hurricane is also expected to bring torrential rains, flash flooding , landslides and landslides in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Fiona is expected to bring 12 to 16 inches of rain to Puerto Rico, especially in eastern and southern regions, and four to eight inches to the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic. The British and US Virgin Islands could see four to six inches of rain, while the Turks and Caicos Islands could see three to six inches, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi announced on Twitter on Sunday that classes in public schools on the island would be canceled on Monday, along with work in government agencies, other than first responders and essential personnel.
The governor too said on Twitter on Sunday that people in flood-prone areas should evacuate and that 118 shelters are open.
Pierluisi said $550 million in emergency funds were available to deal with the aftermath of the hurricane, along with enough food to feed 200,000 people for 20 days three times a day.
The governor has previously said the forecasted heavy rains are dangerous as the ground on the island is already saturated. Meanwhile, many Puerto Ricans have been worried about severe power outages since reconstruction of the island’s power grid, which was razed by Hurricane Maria in 2017, only recently began. The network remains fragile and power outages occur daily.
The updated classification comes after a hurricane warning was issued for the storm as it approached Puerto Rico on Saturday.
So far, one death has been reported in the French territory of Guadeloupe. More than 20 other people were rescued amid strong winds and rain that left 13,000 customers without power, with the storm tearing up roads, knocking down trees and destroying at least one bridge.
Regional prefect Alexandre Rochatte told reporters on Saturday that the body was found on the side of a road after floods swept away a house in the capital Basse-Terre. More than 20 other people were rescued amid strong winds and rain that left 13,000 customers without power.