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Already flooded, Puerto Rico awaits intense rains and floods in aftermath of Hurricane Fiona

Syra Ortiz-Blanes, Miami Herald on

Published in Weather News

Hurricane Fiona is expected to continue dumping water in Puerto Rico on Monday, exacerbating flooding in communities catastrophically devastated by the storm.

Lee-ann Ingles-Serrano, a National Weather Service meteorologist in San Juan, told the Miami Herald that nearly the entire island is under a flash flood warning as of Monday morning, with significant rainfall expected Monday morning and afternoon, worsening flooding in the hardest hit parts of the island in the south.

That area can expect to see another four to six inches of rain, she said.

“We are going to have a more severe flooding problem in areas that are flooded. And areas that are not flooded could flood,” she said.

Between Saturday afternoon and Monday, the southeast of the island had received between 15 and 25 inches of rain. The rest of the island got between 5 and 12 inches.

Several rivers have also overflowed their banks, flooding the communities around them.

 

Nearly every municipality in the southeast, south, and interior of the island are reporting flooding. Ingles-Serrano said that the mountain town of Cayey and the coastal towns of Guayama and Salinas were among the most affected.

The island could see gusts of 35 miles per hour Monday, which are lower than the hurricane winds that blew through the island over the weekend. But they could cause landslides because of how saturated and vulnerable the terrain is.

Rolando Ortiz, the mayor of Cayey, went on national TV asking for help to save a family with a young daughter.

“There is no way to reach them,” he said.

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