Inside the extreme weather week of Sept. 19

Hurricane Fiona brings power outages, heavy rain in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic

Hi everyone! We’re back for another look at the wild weather across the globe.

Fiona slams Puerto Rico

The big story this week is Hurricane Fiona that just walloped Puerto Rico, still recovering from Hurricane Maria that hit the island in 2017 as a Category 4 storm.

As the Associated Press is reporting, the storm knocked out power across all of Puerto Rico, causing damage the governor said was “catastrophic.” Many people were left without water service. No deaths had been reported, but authorities in the U.S. territory said it was too early to know the full scope of damage from an expansive storm that was still forecast to unleash torrential rain across Puerto Rico on Monday. Up to 22 inches of rain had fallen in some areas of Puerto Rico and forecasters said another 4 to 8 inches could fall — perhaps up to 15 inches in some places — even as the storm moves away.

See video of a bridge being washed away over the Guaonica River in Utuado on Sunday. Video filmed by Utuado resident Jean Carlos Velez Roman shows the metal bridge buckling under the pressure of the rover and floating away. The temporary bridge was installed after the previous bridge was swept away during Hurricane Maria in 2017, according to US House Delegate Roberto Lefranc Fortuño.

A bridge over the Guaonica River in Utuado, Puerto Rico, was washed away by surging floodwaters due to Hurricane Fiona on Sunday, Sept. 18. Credit: Jean Carlos Velez Roman via Storyful

Fiona lashes Dominican Republic as travelers capture footage of wind, rain

Hurricane Fiona made landfall in the Dominican Republic in the early hours of Monday, bringing maximum sustained winds of an estimated 90 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said.

Video below shows strong wind and rain lashing the area where Melanie L.R. Nichols stayed in Punta Cana.

She tweeted footage showing water leaking in her hotel room. “I can only imagine the horrors facing anyone living in a regular house here if this type of building can’t hold back the water,” she said.

The NHC warned heavy rain from the storm could cause “life-threatening and catastrophic” flooding in parts of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Video of strong wind and rain captured by Melanie L R Nichols. She said it was filmed in Punta Cana. She tweeted footage showing water leaking in her hotel room. “I can only imagine the horrors facing anyone living in a regular house here if this type of building can’t hold back the water,” she said.

Earthquake rocks Taiwan

Video posted to Twitter by @ohayotaiwan and shown below via Storyful shows fish sloshing around their tank in Taipei City, Taiwan, as a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the country on Sunday.

According to Taiwan’s Central Meteorological Administration, the earthquake hit in the early afternoon and had a depth of 4.3 miles. The worst affected areas were in the southeast of the island nation. Previously, on Saturday, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake was registered near Yujing. Further aftershocks continued to hit Taiwan since the earthquake, the administration said.

Local police said one person died, and 43 people were injured due to the earthquake in Hualien County, the worst-affected in the area.

Fish were sloshed around their tank in Taipei City, Taiwan, as a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the country on Sunday. Credit: @ohayotaiwan via Storyful

Alaska flooded following Typhoon Merbok

The remnants of Typhoon Merbok brought coastal flooding to areas of Alaska’s west coast on Sept. 17, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported.

Residents of several communities sheltered as the storm impacted the state, officials said. An airport in Golovin was underwater, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation.

Twitter user @AK907sierra posted the footage below and was described as showing, “kids being evacuated to higher ground.”

Spain flooding after heavy rainfall

Vehicles floated in a flooded roadway in Mataró, Spain, as the Meteorological Service of Catalonia reported over 3.9 inches of rainfall in the area on Friday.

Firefighters reported rescuing people from vehicles inundated by floodwater.

Video posted by @pinxoipanxo on Friday shows cars submerged in water on flooded roadways in Mataró, Spain.

Officials deactivated the flood alert, saying that the incidents in Mataró had been “practically resolved” by Saturday.

The remnants of Typhoon Merbok brought coastal flooding to areas of Alaska’s west coast on Sept. 17, the National Weather Service reported

Multiple people killed, historic buildings under water in Italy

At least six people were killed and three were missing after heavy rain brought intense flooding to central Italy, according to local media reports citing authorities.

Footage shown below -- filmed by Stefano Bartolucci -- shows water flooding the streets of Senigallia, in Italy’s Marche region, early last Friday morning.

The Misa River, which runs through the town of Senigallia reached its peak early on Friday morning, and began slowly receding, the Municipality of Senigallia said.

At least six people were killed and three were missing after heavy rain brought intense flooding to central Italy, according to local media reports citing authorities. This footage, filmed by Stefano Bartolucci, shows water flooding the streets of Senigallia, in Italy’s Marche region, early last Friday.
At least six people were dead and three missing after heavy rain brought intense flooding to central Italy, according to local media reports citing authorities. Credit: Stefano Bartolucci/MeteoSenigallia.it via Storyful

Back here in Southeast Texas, the heat is our main story starting on Tuesday. A high pressure will dominate the forecast keeping us dry and hot. High temperatures will soar with highs approaching 100° by Thursday.

See y’all next week for another extreme weather update!


About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.