Hurricane Fiona strengthens to Category 4 storm

STORY: Hurricane Fiona-- which whipsawed Turks and Caicos, after slamming into Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic-- strengthened to a powerful, Category 4 storm on Wednesday.

Now heading towards Bermuda – Fiona is packing winds as high as 130 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center, and is expected to strengthen as it moves north, though the current forecast does not see Bermuda taking a direct hit.

Back in the Dominican Republic, residents of El Cuey showed Reuters the extent of the damage.

DOMINICAN AFFECTED BY HURRICANE, NANCY CLEMENTE, SAYING:

“It was Sunday afternoon when we saw everything gone wrong. I went to see my mother, and my brother had to leave as well. You can see everything in the house, it was all destroyed. But thankfully we have God’s presence, which is the biggest thing.”

DOMINICAN AFFECTED BY QUAKE, BRAUDIN TRINIDAD, SAYING:

“It came through this side and when it could not go anywhere, it came into the home. When it went out, it took the roof off. It dismantled everything, everything. We had to run out.”

Fiona was the first hurricane to directly hit the Dominican Republic since Jeanne left severe damage in the east of the country in 2004.

In Puerto Rico, nearly 40% of the island's 3.3 million residents were still without water and three-fourths were lacking power Wednesday.

Authorities were trying to get a handle on the scale of the destruction and start the recovery.

At least eight deaths there are being investigated as potentially caused by the storm.

The pace of power restoration, though, is faster this time around, than after Hurricane Maria in 2017 when the entire island of Puerto Rico was without power for a week.