Emergency crews have rescued 1,000 people so far in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, according to Maj. Gen. José J. Reyes, the adjutant general of the Puerto Rico National Guard.
Responders rescued one woman who was hanging from a tree for seven hours after she attempted to cross flood waters. In the same area, officials said emergency crews also helped three more people who also tried to get across rising water.
The general said rescues were widespread and urged everyone to heed warnings from officials. Reyes said there were also many rescues overnight and into the morning in Salinas after the river burst.
"This is still a tropical weather event, as history has taught us, we'll now start seeing the runoff from the mountain region" in the south toward the north, Reyes said, urging those in hazard areas to seek shelter.
"What we don't want is loss of life," Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said.
The governor said 75% of the cellular infrastructure is operational following the brunt of the storm. He attributed the functioning communications to generator upgrades made after Hurricane Maria.
"Maria served as an exercise for the people who handle emergencies, at all levels, the coordination during Fiona has been exemplary," the governor said. "The communication has been excellent, but this is not over... we keep going 24/7," he added.
Most of the island is still without power.