Diaspora

Hurricane Fiona strikes Puerto Rico, knocks out power – Church News

The winds and rain from the storm also caused widespread flooding in the Caribbean
A home is submerged in floodwaters caused by Hurricane Fiona in Cayey, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. According to authorities three people were inside the home and were reported to have been rescued.
Stephanie Rojas, Associated Press
Once again, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands are working to recover from a catastrophic storm.
Hurricane Fiona struck the southwest coast of Puerto Rico on Sunday, Sept. 18, knocking out power to the island, causing flooding and landslides, and washing away roads and bridges.
Reports from the Church’s Caribbean Area presidency are that all full-time missionaries are safe and accounted for, with no known major damages reported to members’ homes or Church buildings so far. 
But the community is another story. Rivers overflowed their banks, and waters entered many homes. Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día reported winds up to 103 miles per hour, between 8 and 13 inches of rainfall, and hundreds of people evacuated and rescued. 
“The damages that we are seeing are catastrophic,” said Gov. Pedro Pierluisi in an Associated Press report.
Fiona struck five years after Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria tore through the Caribbean — Maria killed nearly 3,000 people and destroyed the power grid when it hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017.
This time, the power company on the island believes it could take several days to fully restore electricity, as winds and rain continue to keep conditions too dangerous to evaluate the situation.
A worker cuts an electricity pole that was downed by Hurricane Fiona as it blocks a road in Cayey, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022.
Stephanie Rojas, Associated Pres
This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Fiona in the Caribbean on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. The eye of newly formed Hurricane Fiona is near the coast of Puerto Rico — and it has already sparked an island-wide blackout and threatens to dump “historic” levels of rain. (NOAA via AP)
NOAA via Associated Press
People look at a flooded road during the passing of Hurricane Fiona through Cayey, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022.
Stephanie Rojas, Associated Press

Fiona’s path on Monday, Sept. 19, was expected to affect the Dominican Republic — a hurricane warning was posted for the eastern coast of that island — and then heavy rains were expected in northern Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands. 
When the storm reached the French territory of Guadeloupe earlier in the weekend, one man was killed when the floods washed away his home. The storm also damaged roads and trees and bridges there, reported the Associated Press. 
On the island of Guadeloupe, missionaries and members of the Church joined their neighbors to help after the brunt of the storm had passed. Donning yellow Helping Hands shirts and vests, the members checked on residents, distributed bottled water and started to clean up flooded homes in the cities most affected by Fiona.
Local Church leaders reported that the mayor of the island was surprised and touched by the response. The president of the region also visited and asked who the Helping Hands volunteers were.
Missionaries and branch members in Helping Hands shirts and vests help their neighbors after Hurricane Fiona hit the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe the weekend of Sept. 17-18, 2022.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
A volunteer watches a backhoe work on a damaged road after Hurricane Fiona hit the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe the weekend of Sept. 17-18, 2022.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Missionaries and branch members in Helping Hands shirts and vests distribute bottled water after Hurricane Fiona hit the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe the weekend of Sept. 17-18, 2022.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Missionaries and branch members in Helping Hands shirts and vests help move furniture off a flooded floor after Hurricane Fiona hit the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe the weekend of Sept. 17-18, 2022.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Missionaries and branch members help in a home on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe after Hurricane Fiona the weekend of Sept. 17-18, 2022.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
A missionary in a Helping Hands vest helps clean up a home after Hurricane Fiona hit the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe the weekend of Sept. 17-18, 2022.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Church members in yellow Helping Hands shirts help their neighbors on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe after Hurricane Fiona hit the weekend of Sept. 17-18, 2022.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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