Hurricane Fiona Hits Puerto Rico and Caribbean, Severely Impacting Travel — What to Know

Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines, and JetBlue have all issued travel alerts.

A powerful hurricane struck the Caribbean over the weekend, pummeling Puerto Rico and causing airlines to issue travel alerts to affected areas.

Hurricane Fiona slammed Puerto Rico on Sunday, delivering landslides, flooding everything from buildings to an airport runway, and knocking out power across the island, The Associated Press reported. The storm dumped 22 inches of rain in some parts of the island, and forecasters predict another 4 to 8 inches could still come as the storm travels away.

“If your area is under a flood warning, move to shelter now,” Puerto Rico’s Gov. Pedro Pierluisi tweeted on Monday. “Protect your life and take care of yours. Keep yourself in a safe place. We will continue under heavy rain throughout the day.”

Pierluisi told the AP the damages were “catastrophic.” 

The storm disrupted travel throughout the region with airlines issuing travel alerts through this week, including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines, and JetBlue.

The storm also forced the U.S. Virgin Islands to close both its airports through at least noon on Monday, the islands’ Department of Tourism shared with Travel + Leisure. No damage had been reported on the islands.

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico.

Jose Jimenez/Getty Images

“As the Department of Tourism for the U.S. Virgin Islands, our utmost priority is the safety and comfort of our residents and visitors,” Joseph Boschulte, the commissioner of tourism, said in a statement provided to T+L. “We advise all to take the proper precautions and remain indoors. We send our warmest thoughts and prayers to our sister islands of Puerto Rico and the BVI.”

On Sunday, President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico, authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) “to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.”

As of Monday, the National Hurricane Center reported “life-threatening & catastrophic flooding” were ongoing due to heavy rain from the storm’s outer bands. Hurricane conditions were also spreading across the region, including to portions of the Dominican Republic. Fiona was expected to strengthen as it moved away from Puerto Rico, threatening Turks and Caicos with hurricane conditions on Tuesday, and threatening parts of the Bahamas with tropical storm conditions by late Monday or early Tuesday. 

The storm, which first hit Puerto Rico on Sunday, came just two days before the anniversary of Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in 2017.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles