Weekly wrap-up: Puerto Rico still in the dark 1 month after Maria; Deadly wildfires char Spain, Portugal
By Katy Galimberti, AccuWeather staff writer
October 20, 2017, 12:26:34 PM EDT
Hurricane Ophelia raced across the Atlantic Ocean this week, eventually impacting the United Kingdom as a powerful storm.
At least three people were killed in Ireland as the storm unleashed destructive winds and drenching rain across the country. More than 300,000 people were without power at one point.
Winds up to 97 mph (156 km/h) were recorded. A section of roof at a soccer stadium in Cork, located in the southern part of the country, collapsed on Monday. The storm resulted in damage as far as Leeds and Manchester, England.
Ahead of the brunt of the storm, Ophelia's strong winds swept Saharan dust north, turning skies across the U.K. a fiery orange.
Fires continued to rage across Northern California this week, but firefighters have made significant progress in tackling the blazes.
More than a dozen fires burned more than 200,000 acres across the state. More than 40 people have been killed. Around 100,000 people were forced to evacuate since early October.
Conditions across the region improved late in the week, helping firefighters who have been battling the destructive blazes for nearly two weeks.
Deadly wildfires in Portugal and Spain created havoc this week, killing more than 45 people.
The combination of months of dry weather and gusty winds related to former Hurricane Ophelia resulted in dangerous fire conditions.
Portugal's Interior Minister Constanca Urbano de Sousa submitted her resignation on Wednesday amid public outcry against the government response to the deadly fires.
Meanwhile, heavy rain led to flooding in southern Spain. Streets turned to rivers and wreaked havoc in several cities in the Andalusia region.
A strong storm blasted the northwestern U.S. this week, cutting power to more than 50,000 in western Washington, according to ABC News.
Seattle recorded 1.20 inches of rain on Thursday, breaking a new daily record.
Strong winds sent power poles falling in Kent, Washington, about 20 miles south of Seattle. Several cars were damaged, according to local ABC station KOMO.
Meanwhile, it's been a month since Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico and power is still largely out across the island, according to San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.
Local officials have widely criticized FEMA and the Trump administration for a slow response. Puerto Rico had already been dealing with a severe economic crisis in advance of the storm's impact.
Eighty percent of Puerto Rico still does not have electricity four weeks after Maria made landfall, and some have been in the dark since Irma's impacts 45 days ago, according to the New York Times.
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