3 min read

Puerto Rico Without Power and Water after Hurricane Fiona

Almost a million homes and businesses are without power after the storm causes an island-wide power outage for its over 3 million residents.
Puerto Rico Without Power and Water after Hurricane Fiona

Hundreds of thousands of people across Puerto Rico are still waiting for water and power to be restored following Hurricane Fiona, reports NPR. Fiona was a category 1 hurricane when it hit, but it moved slowly and dropped more than 30 inches of rain on some areas, washing out roads and isolating some mountain communities.

Isolated communities in Puerto Rico struggle to regain water and power after Fiona (NPR)

Excerpt from NPR: In the town of Orocovis, a mudslide blocked a major roadway, making it difficult for residents to get food, water and other necessities. A local construction company quickly got to work, removing tons of soil, vegetation and boulders that were blocking the road. By Thursday, a single lane had been cleared allowing some trucks containing food, water and fuel to reach the city. Other roads in the area collapsed when the ground under them washed away. In Cacao, a small community of scattered homes in the mountains, hundreds of people were stranded when the road connecting them with Orocovis collapsed. Local authorities surveyed the damage, declared it unsafe and closed the road.
Embed from Getty Images

According to Axios, even after several years of political and legal battles over how to revive its economy and fix its basic utilities, Puerto Rico continues to careen from crisis to crisis. The territory and its 3 million residents are caught in a quagmire of financial and infrastructure challenges with a steep human cost — including including a 41% poverty rate last year.

"Even relatively minor storms can shut down the power grid on the island," says Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, an organization that has advocated for debt relief for Puerto Rico. And "the water supply is dependent in many parts of the island on the electrical grid."

Puerto Rico's intersecting crises (Axios)

Excerpt from Axios: Puerto Rico's entire power grid — which has been in bankruptcy for the last half decade — went down after Hurricane Fiona ripped through on Sunday. It's another humanitarian crisis for an island that was supposed to be keeping the lights on by now. Only about 32% of Puerto Rico residents had power restored as of Thursday, while about 3 in 4 were still without clean water. Debt reduction has helped Puerto Rico by freeing up cash to spend on basic services, but numerous troubles continue to dog the island, including a history of corruption, insufficient revenue and the ongoing dispute over the prospect of statehood.
Embed from Getty Images

Hurricane Fiona is now taking aim at northeastern Canada, after battering Bermuda with heavy rain, strong winds, and massive waves; as forecasters warn of one of the strongest storms on record for the region, writes USA Today.

Hurricane Fiona hurtles through Bermuda; Atlantic Canada braces for 'historic storm' (USA Today)

Excerpt from USA Today: A hurricane warning is in effect for Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, The Magdalen Islands and the coast of Newfoundland as the U.S. National Hurricane Center forecasts hurricane conditions may begin in Atlantic Canada late Friday. Fiona, now a Category 4 hurricane, is expected to weaken slightly Friday. The center still expects the storm to be a "large and powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds," as it rips through northeastern Canada, threatening significant coastal flooding and 3 to 6 inches of rain with local maximums of up to 10 inches in some areas. Parts of Atlantic Canada may see "life-threatening flooding, damaging hurricane-force wind gusts and dangerous storm surges," AccuWeather said.
Embed from Getty Images

Jump to this week's edition of:
World News - Part 1
World News - Part 2
US News - Part 1
US News - Part 2
Podcast Companion