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Category 2 Hurricane Fiona to be season’s first major hurricane in Atlantic

Hurricane Fiona, now a Category 2 storm, is forecast to end up being the season’s first major hurricane in the Atlantic.

Threat level: Fiona was packing maximum sustained winds of 110 mph some 80 miles southeast of Grand Turk Island late Monday, since it continued to unleash heavy rains across Puerto Rico and elements of the Dominican Republic where “life-threatening” flash flooding was likely, per the National Hurricane Center.

  • Mudslides and landslides were still a risk for Puerto Rico, the NHC said within an 11pm ET forecast update.
  • The storm has killed at the very least two different people one in Puerto Rico and another in the Dominican Republic, while a minumum of one death has been from the widespread power outages in Puerto Rico, AP reports. The 70-year-old man died attempting to refill his generator, officials said.

What we’re watching: Though Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic took the worst hits up to now, Fiona was likely to also pose a threat to the Turks and Caicos Islands and also Bermuda.

  • The hurricane was likely to become a Category 3 storm close to the Turks and Caicos by Tuesday morning.

Data: National Hurricane Center; Map: Jared Whalen/AxiosData: National Hurricane Center; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

Data:National Hurricane Center; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

What they’re saying: The White House said Monday the government has deployed 300 personnel to Puerto Rico to aid with response and recovery.

  • President Biden spoke with Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi concerning the federal government’s support and the “amount of support personnel increase substantially” in the coming days once damage assessments have already been conducted, in accordance with a White House statement.

The picture as a whole: Fiona left over 1.4 million people in Puerto Rico without power on Sunday since it caused an island-wide outage five years after Hurricane Maria struck. Pierluisi said Monday it might be days before power’s restored.

  • Rapidly rising waterways have led rivers to crest at record heights.
  • After pummeling Puerto Rico, the hurricane slammed in to the Dominican Republic on Monday, triggering mudslides that damaged highways and forced resorts to close.

Go deeper: Three massive storms slam U.S. and Japan, each with climate change ties

Editor’s note: It is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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