Category 3 storm Fiona becomes first major Atlantic hurricane of 2022

Hurricane Fiona upgraded to a Category 3 storm on Tuesday morning – with winds of 115mph as it approached the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Threat level: The deadly storm which is the first major hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season was continuing to unleash heavy rains and ‘life threatening’ flash floods over Puerto Rico and parts of the Dominican Republic, according to an update from the National Hurricane Center at 2 a.m.

  • The hurricane has been linked to at least two deaths in Puerto Rico and another in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

The big picture: Fiona caused a total power outage when it hit Puerto Rico as a Category 1 storm over the weekend. Nearly 1.3 million residents were still without power in the United States on Tuesday morning, according to poweroutage.us.

  • After making landfall in the Dominican Republic on Monday, the strengthening storm knocked out power to more than 700,000 customers, Reuters notes.
  • The White House said Monday that the federal government has deployed 300 people to Puerto Rico to help with the response and recovery, and that will “significantly increase” in the coming days once the damage is assessed.

To note : Puerto Rico’s power grid was already fragile after being badly damaged during Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Go further: Three massive storms hit the United States and Japan, each with links to climate change

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with new details.