Power has gone out across all of the US territory of Puerto Rico on Sunday, according to PowerOutage.us, as Hurricane Fiona bears down on the islands, which are already grappling with the threat of flooding and mudslides stemming from the Category 1 storm.
“Puerto Rico is 100% without power due to a transmission grid failure from Hurricane Fiona,” the website said. Gov. Pedro Pierluisi confirmed the outage in a tweet, noting the entire electric system was out of service and officials have activated the proper protocols to work to restore power.
The blackout – which followed hours of progressively worsening power outages – comes five years after Puerto Rico’s power grid was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September 2017, leaving many residents without electricity for months.
President Joe Biden on Sunday approved an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico as Tropical Storm Fiona headed toward the island at near hurricane strength. The emergency declaration authorizes Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief efforts and provide emergency protective measures, the White House said in a statement.
Puerto Rico plunges into total power blackout as Hurricane Fiona nears with threat of flooding and mudslideshttps://t.co/6x045zvlkW
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) September 18, 2022
Fiona strengthened into a hurricane Sunday as it bore down on Puerto Rico, where it left hundreds of thousands without power. https://t.co/zMMT1GfHtX
— NBC15 News (@nbc15_madison) September 18, 2022
BREAKING: All of Puerto Rico — every town, neighborhood, house — is without power.
That’s 1.4 million households.
Winds over the southern portion of the island have gusted 80-100 mph, but elsewhere winds have been much lesser. Despite this, the grid is tenuous at best. pic.twitter.com/EGG1m5KY0l
— Matthew Cappucci (@MatthewCappucci) September 18, 2022
— Stu Ostro (@StuOstro) September 18, 2022
103 MPH wind gust from #Hurricane #Fiona here in Ponce where we’re stuck in the (dirty) eye wall with roar of the wind continuing. The entire island is without power as disastrous and life-threatening flash flooding continues. pic.twitter.com/AHUik23Jec
— Mike Seidel (@mikeseidel) September 18, 2022
Puerto Rico is bracing for Heavy Rain, Flooding, and landslides ahead of Hurricane Fiona. Here’s where it goes next. @weatherchannel #Fiona2022 #FIona #HurricaneFiona #Hurricane pic.twitter.com/edWVJUYtep
— Heather Tesch (@HeatherTesch) September 18, 2022