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Hurricane Fiona affects travel to the US Virgin Islands and the Caribbean

Former Tropical Storm Fiona was upgraded to Hurricane Fiona today, with the eye of the storm hitting the extreme southwest of the island on Sunday afternoon. There, it’s expected to wreak havoc over the next 48 hours, causing “catastrophic, life-threatening flooding,” according to the National Weather Service (NWS) in San Juan, as well as mudslides, waterfalls stones and power outages.

In the neighboring United States Virgin Islands (USVI), airlines have canceled all September 18 flights to both USVI airports, Henry E. Rohlsen Airport in St. Croix and Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas . Both airports will be closed until at least noon on Monday September 19, the USVI tourism department announced on Sunday.

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The US Coast Guard had previously closed all USVI seaports, effective 10:00 p.m. Friday, September 16, and they will remain closed until further notice.

Fiona is currently moving northwest over Puerto Rico, areas of the storm also hitting the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, where the hurricane is expected to have similar, potentially disastrous effects, until see you Monday.

The USVI is already swept by the hurricane’s outer rain bands, wind speeds are reaching 45 mph with gusts of up to 75 mph, and up to six inches of rain are expected to fall on the islands.

“The National Weather Service has lifted its hurricane watch advisory for the US Virgin Islands; however, the territory remains under a tropical storm alert and a flash flood watch as Fiona, which has upgraded to a hurricane, continues to track west toward Puerto Rico,” the official website wrote. tourism from the USVI in a notice this afternoon.

“Although no damage or devastation has been reported on the islands, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. is urging residents to stay home as the storm continues,” the advisory said. “Visitors are encouraged to exercise caution and check with airlines, hotels, car rental companies, tour operators, etc. to determine any actions they plan to take or policies put in place by businesses.”


Hurricane Fiona, trajectory, forecast
Projected track of Hurricane Fiona as of September 18, 2022. (image via NWS National Hurricane Center)

USVI Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte said, “As the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, our top priority is the safety and comfort of our residents and visitors. We advise everyone to take the necessary precautions and stay indoors. We send our warmest thoughts and prayers to our sister islands of Puerto Rico and the BVI.

“On the forecast track, the center of Fiona will move near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic tonight and Monday, and near or east of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday,” the National Hurricane Center (NHC) wrote. in a press release. notice published on Sunday.

Fiona’s track is expected to trend north-northwest on Tuesday. A tropical storm warning is therefore also in effect for the neighboring British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas, including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, Inaguas, Mayaguana and the Ragged Islands.


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