Catastrophic flooding on #PuertoRico from #Fiona

Hurricane Fiona is moving away from Puerto Rico this morning, with the now well defined eye inland over the Dominican Republic, but heavy rain continues to trail across the island:

click to enlarge.

Rain totals as of just after 6am ET were upwards of 30 inches in places. A quick look at the local storm reports has 42 damaging mudslides, some with people trapped, and about as many reports of flooding. Electricity has been out across the entire island since mid-day yesterday. The computer models are currently estimating about $2 Billion in damage, but they tend to underestimate damage to Puerto Rico due to the ongoing electrical problems (they should have been fixed long ago) and the utterly astounding statistic that over 3,000 homes have not yet been repaired from Maria, five years ago. It wouldn’t surprise me if this ends up as a $5 to $8 Billion event or more, and of course that says nothing about the human suffering. No word on fatalities yet but I’d guess there have been some.

Dominican Republic is also experiencing damage, and will likely also have a damage toll in the $1 to $2 Billion USD range. The Turks and Caicos and southern Bahamas should just get a side-swipe with minimal damage. Bermuda will be in the storm swath as it rapidly moves north – the extent of the impacts will depend on the exact track, but warnings are sure to be posted soon. Nova Scotia and Vinland (Newfoundland) will likely feel the effects of Fiona as it transitions from being a hurricane to an extratropical cyclone.

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