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Hurricane Fiona (2022) - Updated September 27, 2022

Hurricane Fiona (2022) - Updated September 27, 2022

Created: Tuesday, September 27, 2022 - 14:22
Emergency Response & Recovery, Natural Disasters

September 27, 2022

Critical Infrastructure Restoration Continues in Puerto Rico and Canada from Destructive Hurricane Fiona

Puerto Rico’s official emergency portal system reports approximately 172,000 (13 percent) water customers and 450,000 (31 percent) electric customers are without full service as of this morning in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona. In Canada, Fiona left a trail of destruction in numerous eastern provinces, including infrastructure impacts that officials advise could take months to fully recover from.

The numbers in Puerto Rico continue to reflect slow but steady improvement. During the CISA and FEMA ESF #4 Business & Industry Stakeholder's Coordination Meeting yesterday (which also covers Hurricane Ian), CISA and FEMA officials for Region II (which covers Puerto Rico) reported power and water service restoration on the island are priorities. With many sites also relying upon generator power, officials and critical infrastructure partners are also focusing on delivering fuel to help maintain services.

In Canada, Fiona made landfall in eastern Nova Scotia on Saturday morning as a post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds of 90 mph. It moved north and over the eastern Gulf of St. Lawrence on Saturday evening and, by Sunday afternoon, departed into the Labrador Sea. Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Quebec, and New Brunswick were also affected by the storm. It will take several months for Canada to restore critical infrastructure due to the “unprecedented” trail of destruction left by Fiona, officials said on Sunday, as crews fanned out in the five provinces to restore power and other services and clean up fallen trees and debris. More than 400,000 Nova Scotia Power customers had been affected by outages Saturday, the company reported. Those numbers have been steadily declining, with just under 130,000 customers without power in that province as of Tuesday afternoon, according to The numbers in the other provinces are smaller, with Prince Edward Island having the next highest number at nearly 70,000. The Canadian Hurricane Centre called Fiona a "historic storm for eastern Canada" and a "potential landmark weather event" in a region where hurricanes are rare. Read more at NBC News, CNN, BBC, and USAToday.

September 22, 2022

Widespread Water and Power Outages Continue in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Fiona, Canada Warns of “Severe Event” for Eastern Provinces this Weekend

Puerto Rico’s official emergency portal system reports that approximately 438,000 (33 percent) water customers and 1 million (62 percent) electric customers are without full service as of this morning in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona. The forecasted track continues to put Fiona on a collision course with eastern Canada. The Canadian Hurricane Centre warns the “storm is shaping up to be a severe event for Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec.”

The numbers of customers with service reflect c. In an advisory about its response efforts in Puerto Rico, FEMA notes its priorities are to support lifesaving and life-sustaining actions, including restoration of power and water systems. It also reports it surged hundreds of employees to Puerto Rico to support the response, which is in addition to 700 staff who live and work on the island. Additionally, a Water Distribution Task Force, comprised of federal, Puerto Rico and private sector members are coordinating water delivery to isolated communities. In its Daily Operations Briefing, FEMA also reports a boil water advisory is in place throughout the island. The flooding on the island continues to diminish, although isolated afternoon thunderstorms and another tropical system in the area may bring additional flash and urban flooding and hamper response and recovery efforts.

WaterISAC has posted below FEMA's response efforts advisory and Daily Operations Briefing, which further describes impacts and response efforts.

For Canada, the Canadian Hurricane Centre advises the latest forecast brings Hurricane Fiona north towards Nova Scotia waters Friday night, passing through eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Saturday, and then reaching the Lower Quebec North Shore and Southeastern Labrador early Sunday. It forecasts severe winds and rainfall will have major impacts for eastern Prince Edward Island, eastern Nova Scotia, western Newfoundland, eastern Quebec, and southeastern Labrador. It notes most regions will experience some hurricane force winds, which will begin impacting the region late Friday and will continue on Saturday. Additionally, wind impacts will likely be enhanced by foliage on the trees, potentially causing prolonged utility outages. Rainfall is expected to be significant, especially north and west of Fiona's track, where heavy rain could lead to flooding. The highest rainfall amounts are likely for eastern Nova Scotia, southwestern Newfoundland, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence region. Forecast guidance is suggesting widespread amounts of 100 to 200 mm, but closer to the path of Fiona, more than 200 mm is likely. Some districts have received large quantities of rain recently, and excessive runoff may exacerbate the flooding potential. Road washouts and erosion are also possible. Read more at the Canadian Hurricane Centre and Global News.

September 20, 2022

More Than 60 Percent of Puerto Rico Experiencing Water Service Disruptions following Hurricane Fiona

As of today, more than 760,000 customers of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority had no water service or were suffering significant interruptions as a result of Hurricane Fiona, according to the government's emergency portal system. The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority is the only water company on the island and serves 1.2 million clients, meaning the disruptions are affecting about 60 percent of the island's residents. Its president, Doriel I. Pagán Crespo, explained that in addition to the power outages, water supplies have been severely impacted by the flooding, river surges, and high amounts of debris in the water. "We have 112 filtration plants, and most of them are supplied from rivers...As long as the rivers continue to decrease in level and it is safe for our personnel to carry out cleaning tasks, that is how we will be doing it." In terms of the power outages, nearly 1.2 million out of almost 1.5 million customers are without power, or about 80 percent, according to the government website.

According to FEMA and the National Hurricane Center, flash, urban, and moderate to major river flooding, as well as mudslides, are likely for southern and eastern Puerto Rico through today. Fiona is continuing on a slow path to the north, which is expected to bring it near the eastern Turks and Caicos later today, away from those islands by  tomorrow, and approach Bermuda late on Thursday. It is still expected to stay far enough out to sea that it will not have any significant impacts on the U.S. mainland, but the long-range track shows it passing over or near eastern Canada by week's end, potentially as a hurricane.

Read more at the National Hurricane Center and NPR.

Additionally, WaterISAC has posted below FEMA's Daily Operations Briefing, which further describes impacts and response efforts.

September 19, 2022

Hurricane Fiona Causes Widespread Power and Water Services Outages in Puerto Rico

Yesterday Hurricane Fiona passed near Puerto Rico as a slow-moving, Category 1 hurricane. It dropped copious amounts of rain, leading to catastrophic flooding and mudslides and causing an island-wide power outage. Additionally, nearly 200,000 customers lost potable water service.

The situation has improved somewhat over the last twelve hours, with critical infrastructure crews working to restore and maintain services. Nearly 100,000 customers (out of 1.4 million) have had their power restored. And the Puerto Rico Aqueducts and Sewers Authority announced it had almost 150 generators operating to help bring water to nearly 160,000 clients. But officials have warned that Fiona is a two-day storm due to its slow-moving nature. Given this, the potential for catastrophic flooding remains over the next several days, especially in southern and eastern Puerto Rico. All told, the island may get 12 to 18 inches of rain with a local maximum of 30, particularly in the south and southeast regions. On the forecast track, the National Hurricane Center forecasts Fiona will emerge over the southwestern Atlantic this afternoon, then pass near or to the east of the Turks and Caicos on Tuesday. It is expected to become a major hurricane and may impact Bermuda, but it should stay far off to sea from the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. It may have impacts on Canada's east coast by the end of the week, including to Nova Scotia. Read more at the National Hurricane Center, the Washington Post, and the Miami Herald.

Additionally, WaterISAC has posted below FEMA's Daily Operations Briefing, which further describes impacts and response efforts.

September 15, 2022

Tropical Storm Fiona Expected to Bring Heavy Rains and Flooding to U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this Weekend

The National Hurricane Center reports Tropical Storm Fiona is expected to move near the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico late Saturday into Sunday, bringing three to six inches of rain with a maximum total of eight inches. It identifies isolated flash flooding and urban flooding with isolated mudslides in areas of higher terrain as the primary threats.

Fiona formed yesterday evening several hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles. As of the National Hurricane Center’s report late this morning, it was moving to the west at 50 mph and had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. It notes some slow strengthening is possible during the next few days, but Fiona is expected to still be at tropical storm strength when it passes over or near the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Preparations are underway in both locations, with FEMA’s Daily Operations Briefing providing more details (see the attachment below). Fiona’s track after this weekend and into next week is less clear, but forecasters believe it has the potential to eventually become a hurricane and may be one to watch for the U.S. East Coast. Read more at the National Hurricane Center and the Washington Post.