The Dominicans pick up after Hurricane Fiona

The Dominicans pick up after Hurricane Fiona

Hundreds of Dominicans found themselves homeless on Tuesday after strong winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Fiona ripped roofs from homes and flooded residential areas on the eastern side of the Caribbean nation.

More than 12,400 people were forced from their homes, and officials said water covered major roads, leaving at least two towns isolated.

Rescue operations continued on Tuesday morning as officials tried to reach communities left isolated by heavy rain and debris-covered roads. President Luis Abidaner, who was scheduled to speak this week at the United Nations General Assembly, canceled his trip to New York to oversee aid efforts.

“I will remain in the country supervising the relief work in the areas affected by Fiona,” Abinader said in a video on social media.

Residents replace the roof of a house torn off by Hurricane Fiona in the low-income Kosovo neighborhood of Veron de Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Ricardo Hernandez)

Residents replace the roof of a house torn off by Hurricane Fiona in the low-income Kosovo neighborhood of Veron de Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Ricardo Hernandez)

The hurricane, which was heading towards Turks and Caicos on Tuesday as a much stronger Category 3 storm, left its mark on the Dominican electrical grid, leaving most of the nation without power. Electric company Distribuidora del Este said 61% of the system was affected and they were still working out details on how to restore service in those areas that need it most.

Dominican officials also reported that the storm knocked out nearly 60 aqueducts, leaving nearly a million people without water.

Dominican officials confirmed Monday that at least one casualty was also caused by the powerful winds, after a 72-year-old man was struck by a tree he was trying to trim outside his home. The incident happened in the small northern town of Matancitas, in the province of Nagua.

Fiona’s wrath was felt in the provinces of El Seibo and La Altagracia, where hundreds of families had to be evacuated after their homes were damaged by the 90 mile per hour winds and heavy rains. Videos on social media showed several flooded streets and structural damage to wooden houses.

The Listin Diario newspaper reported that El Seibo, located 90 miles northeast of Santo Domingo, was heavily damaged, with streets littered with fallen trees and wooden planks and zinc sheets ripped from local homes, while the nearby town of Las Cuchillas was spared. isolated. after heavy flooding blocked main roads.

Broken umbrellas lie on the beach, left by Hurricane Fiona in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Ricardo Hernandez)

Broken umbrellas lie on the beach, left by Hurricane Fiona in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Ricardo Hernandez)

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