Hurricane Fiona strengthened to a Category 4 on Wednesday as it moves away from the Turks and Caicos Islands and approaches Bermuda, according to the National Hurricane Center.
At least four deaths have been directly attributed to the storm in the Caribbean. Torrential rain poured down in Puerto Rico, which left most people without power or water and hundreds of thousands of people had to scrape mud out of their homes.
Power company officials initially said electricity would not be fully restored for a couple of days, but the timetable appeared to change by late Tuesday night.
“Hurricane Fiona has severely impacted electrical infrastructure and generation facilities throughout the island,” said Luma, the company that operates power transmission and distribution.
HURRICANE FIONA UPGRADED TO CATEGORY 3 AS IT HEADS FOR TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
“We want to make it very clear that efforts to restore and reenergize continue and are being affected by severe flooding, impassable roads, downed trees, deteriorating equipment, and downed lines,” the company continued.
Parts of the island received more than 25 inches of rain, with an additional rain pour coming down on Tuesday.
Authorities said late Tuesday that power had been restored to nearly 300,000 customers, and water service was cut to more than 760,000 customers.
HURRICANE FIONA: PUERTO RICO FACES ANOTHER DAY WITHOUT POWER, FLASH FLOODING AND ‘CATASTROPHIC’ DAMAGE
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency on the U.S. territory and deployed teams to the island.
Officials in the Turks and Caicos Islands reported minimal damage and zero deaths. This, despite the eye of the storm passing near the capital island of Grand Turk Tuesday morning.
Late Tuesday, the hurricane was centered about 95 miles north of North Caicos Island, with hurricane-force winds extending up to 30 miles from the center. Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and was heading north at 8 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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