Hurricane Fiona to bring flooding to eastern Dominican Republic

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FILE PHOTO: Workers cut tree branches in preparation for Hurricane Fiona, in Santo Domingo

(Reuters) -Hurricane Fiona was expected to bring life-threatening flash and urban flooding to parts of the Dominican Republic after making landfall near Boca de Yuma at 3:30 a.m. AST, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Monday.

Fiona will move over eastern portions of the country, bringing up to 15 inches of rainfall before emerging over the southwestern Atlantic by Monday afternoon, the Miami-based forecaster said.

The center of Fiona was now about 35 miles (55 km) southeast of Samana, Dominican Republic, and packing sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 km per hour), it added.

The hurricane left most of Puerto Rico without power on Sunday, causing catastrophic flooding with mudslides and landslides, while aid agencies in the Dominican Republic began evacuating residents from high-risk areas in the east on Sunday night.

(Reporting by Deep Vakil in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely)