A temporary metal bridge in Puerto Rico, built in the wake of Hurricane Maria, was swept away in the rushing floodwaters of Hurricane Fiona.
The bridge, over the Guaonica River in Utuado, was destroyed Sunday, the same day Fiona made landfall on the island, officials said at a news conference.
Harrowing video shows the moment the metal bridge creaks and groans under the pressure of the rising, fast-moving floodwaters.
Clattering metal is heard as the bridge comes loose and then flows downstream in one piece, whisked away by the current. The video then shows bystanders in disbelief with hands over their heads.
U.S. House Delegate Roberto Lefranc Fortuño said the bridge, known as PR-123, was built after Hurricane Maria in 2017, the deadliest natural disaster on U.S. territory in 100 years.
Fiona made landfall almost exactly five years after Maria ravaged the island.
At a news conference Sunday, a public works official said that, though the bridge was temporary, it could have lasted 75 years.
It was erected in 2018 to provide access to communities located around the river, and a permanent bridge was already in the process of being constructed when Hurricane Fiona pummeled the island.
The official said there was a lot of debris in the river and that’s what ultimately caused the collapse.
Puerto Rico remains under a tropical storm warning after Fiona dumped more than 2 feet of rain over the weekend, triggering flash floods, mudslides, sink holes and power outages.
An island-wide blackout was reported about an hour before as the eye of Fiona neared Puerto Rico's southwestern coast on Sunday. Over 1.3 million power customers in Puerto Rico remained without electricity as of Monday morning.
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