Hurricane Fiona: Several Villages Cut Off As Floodwaters Rise In Dominican Republic

Hurricane Fiona is continuing to strengthen – threatening lives in parts of the Caribbean, say US forecasters.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the category two storm currently packing speeds of 115mph (185km/h) could even worsen to a category four – the second-highest designation.

Rain is lashing Puerto Rico, where at least two people have died and 90% of the island remains without power.

Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader says damage is “considerable”.

The hurricane was about 10 miles (15km) north-west of Grand Turk Island in the Turks and Caicos Islands at 12:00 GMT on Tuesday, the NHC said.

Mr Abinader has declared three eastern provinces of Dominican Republic to be disaster zones, amid warnings from the NHC of “heavy rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding”.

Several villages were cut off in the country as floodwaters rose, while hundreds of people were forced to leave their homes and thousands were left without power.

Lexie Wilcox, who lives in the easternmost province of Altagracia, said it was the worst hurricane she had experienced and had hit her local area much harder than Hurricane Maria in 2017, which killed nearly 3,000 people in Puerto Rico.

On Monday morning there were trees down, with roads blocked and a lot of flooding.

She was unable to sleep, spending the night mopping up rainwater.

The roof has been partially blown off her shed, and a security sign blew off her house.

Ms Wilcox and her neighbours are without electricity, and believe this may take days to be fixed as the storm is still ongoing.

Connection returned for a few minutes on Monday, just long enough to allow Ms Wilcox, who is Canadian, to watch the end of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral while the hurricane raged outside.

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