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Hurricane Fiona approaches Bermuda after devastating Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic

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Hurricane Fiona moved toward Bermuda on Thursday after it left a devastating path of destruction in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, authorities said.

Tropical storm conditions began in Bermuda around midnight Friday as the Category 4 storm continued to move north to the western edge of the island, the US National Hurricane Center said.

Hurricane conditions were expected in Bermuda overnight, forecasters said. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, the hurricane center said.

While the storm’s center was about 195 miles west of Bermuda, tropical storm winds extended outward as far as 275 miles, the agency said. The hurricane-force winds expanded to 115 miles.

A hurricane warning was in effect late Thursday for Bermuda, Prince Edward Island, Isle-de-la-Madeleine, Nova Scotia from Hubbards to Brule and Newfoundland from Parson’s Pond to Francois, according to the Hurricane Center.

The British territory was expected to receive 2 to 4 inches of rain and gusts of up to 75 mph. The heaviest rainfall in Bermuda is expected to fall from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m.

“As Hurricane Fiona approaches on Friday as a Category 4, I encourage everyone to prepare for this storm,” said Bermuda Prime Minister David Burt. said in a statement Thursday. “Let’s all remember to check and watch out for your seniors, family and neighbors. Stay safe.”

After passing Bermuda, Fiona will focus on Canada’s Atlantic fringes and is likely to make landfall near eastern Nova Scotia Saturday morning.

Fiona could weaken to a Category 2 storm or extratropical cyclone, but there is still the threat of significant damage to Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

The system could reach Quebec and southeastern Labrador early Sunday. Rainfall over Atlantic Canada will be 3 to 10 inches, raising the threat of flooding.

“It’s going to be a very big storm when it makes landfall,” said Bob Robichaud, emergency preparedness meteorologist for Environment Canada. “This is going to cover quite a large area.”

The damage Fiona has already left behind can take weeks, months, or even years to repair.

At least 8,708 homes in the Dominican Republic have been damaged or destroyed, according to the Center of Emergency Operations, while 210,433 people are without power and at least 725,246 have no water supply.

Much of Puerto Rico was still without power on Thursday as temperatures approached 100 degrees, triggering an extreme heat warning.

Without power and fallen trees on roads, even reaching most storm-damaged parts of the island remained a challenge.

President Joe Biden said Thursday that he is committed to “100% federal funding for debris removal, search and rescue, power and water restoration, shelter and food for the entire month” in Puerto Rico.

“We will be with the Puerto Rico people…until this is done, until we recover,” Biden told reporters in New York City after meeting with Governor Kathy Hochul; Mayor Eric Adams; Deanne Criswell, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and — via video conference — Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi.

The Associated Press and Phil Helsel contributed.


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