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Tropical Storm Fiona becomes a Category 1 hurricane

Tropical Weather
This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Fiona in the Caribbean on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. Fiona threatened to dump up to 16 inches (41 centimeters) of rain in parts of Puerto Rico on Saturday as forecasters placed the U.S. territory under a hurricane watch and people braced for potential landslides, severe flooding and power outages. (NOAA via AP)

(PUERTO RICO)–Tropical Storm Fiona, which formed over the Central Atlantic on Wednesday night, has officially become a hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Torrential rains and mudslides are expected to hit Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, along with winds of 80 miles (130 kilometers) per hour.

“Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours while Fiona moves near Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and over the southwestern Atlantic,” the National Hurricane Center said in a statement.

Hurricane Fiona will hit Puerto Rico exactly 33 years after Hurricane Hugo made landfall and as parts of the island still haven’t recovered from 2017’s Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi declared a state of emergency Saturday and declared classes and government work canceled for Monday, leaving only public essential service workers or first responders to report to their posts.

According to forecast models, Hurricane Fiona will move east of the U.S. after hitting Puerto Rico, leaving no threat to Florida.