Sept. 18 (UPI) — All of Puerto Rico was without power on Sunday as Hurricane Fiona made landfall on the island, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said.
Pierluisi said in a statement at 1:44 p.m. EST that utilities Luma and AEE had both reported that Puerto Rico’s electrical service was out of service due to the hurricane.
“The protocols have been activated according to the plans established to deal with this situation,” Pierluisi said. “Both Luma and [Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority] personnel are active and ready to respond to the situation once conditions allow.”
About 1,468,223 customers were without power as PowerOutage.us showed no activity on the island.
Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico at 3:35 p.m. EST as a Category 1 hurricane, carrying maximum sustained winds of 85 mph.
Meteorologists from AccuWeather expect Fiona to unload feet of rainfall across the country that will prompt life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides and Pierluisi warned the storm “will cover our entire island” in a news conference Sunday.
At least one death was already been reported in Basse-Terre in the French territory of Guadeloupe, according to the vice president of the territory’s environmental agency.
President Joe Biden on Sunday morning approved an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico. This frees up federal resources, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for emergency response and disaster relief efforts.
In 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico’s power grid and left many without power for months.
Abner Gomez, head of public safety and crisis management at LUMA Energy, which operates Puerto Rico’s power grid said that the utility plans to repair and restore electricity with the help of local government agencies
“This is not Maria, this hurricane will not be Maria,” Gomez said.
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