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Hurricane Fiona devastates Puerto Rico, leaves entire island without power

Hurricane Fiona pummeled the island of Puerto Rico over the weekend, dumping over 2 feet of rain and knocking out power to 1.3 million people in the US territory.

The storm hit Puerto Rico just after 3PM on Sunday afternoon, cutting off electricity to almost everyone on the island within an hour. Approximately 1.3 million people were left powerless and heavy flooding left many without running water. The Weather Channel reported that a rain gauge located near Ponce measured 27 inches of rain in only 24 hours.

President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico following the storm on Sunday. The emergency declaration allows FEMA to “coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures.”

The hurricane, which is now headed away from the island after making landfall in the Dominican Republic, is not expected to make landfall in the United States.

Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi said the island has suffered “catastrophic damage” from the storm, which hit just 5 years ago, devastating the infrastructure and killing over 3,000 people.

“In many areas that had never seen flooding, there has been an unprecedented accumulation of water. In fact, in many areas it was greater than what we saw during Hurricane Maria,” he said in an address on Monday.

No deaths from the hurricane had been reported as of Monday, but much work is still to be done to rescue and recover anyone who was swept up or trapped by the flooding.

The storm moved away from the island on Monday, and is not expected to make landfall in the Eastern United States, but may affect Bermuda.

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