timberland children Hurricane Maria Hits Puerto Rico as Category 4 Storm
(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) One of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit Puerto Rico pummeled the island Wednesday as officials warned it would decimate the power company crumbling infrastructure and force the government to rebuild dozens of communities.
Maria made landfall early Wednesday in the southeast coastal town of Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph (250 kph) winds, and it was expected to punish the island with life threatening winds for 12 to 24 hours, forecasters said.
Zinc roofs were already flying and windows were breaking as the storm approached before dawn, with nearly 900,000 people without power and one tree falling on an ambulance. Those who sought shelter at a coliseum in San Juan were moved to the building second and third floors, reported radio station WKAQ 580 AM. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Maria ties for the eighth strongest storm in Atlantic history, when measured by wind speed. earlier this month.
Puerto Rico had long been spared from a direct hit by hurricanes that tend to veer north or south of the island. The last Category 4 hurricane landfall in Puerto Rico occurred in 1932, and the strongest storm to ever hit the island was San Felipe in 1928 with winds of 160 mph. President Donald Trump offered his support via Twitter: Rico being hit hard by new monster Hurricane. Be careful, our hearts are with you will be there to help! More than 4,400 people were in shelters by late Tuesday, along with 105 pets, Rossello said.
The storm center passed near or over St. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp to insist that people remain alert. St. Croix was largely spared the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Irma on the chain St. Thomas and St. John islands just two weeks ago. But this time, the island would experience five hours of hurricane force winds, Mapp said.
folks in their homes, I really recommend that you not be in any kind of sleepwear, he said during a brief news conference. sure you have your shoes on. Make sure you have a jacket around. Something for your head in case your roof should breach. Be aware of what going on around you. Maria killed one person in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe when a tree fell on them Tuesday, and two people aboard a boat were reported missing off La Desirade island, just east of Guadeloupe, officials said.
The storm also blew over the tiny eastern Caribbean island of Dominica late Monday, where Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit sent out a series of dramatic posts on his Facebook page, including that his own roof had blown away.
winds are merciless! We shall survive by the grace of God, Skerrit wrote before communications went down.
The storm knocked out communications for the entire island, leaving anyone outside Dominica struggling to determine the extent of damage, though it was clearly widespread. situation is really grave, Consul General Barbara Dailey said in a telephone interview from New York. At that point, officials had learned that 70 percent of homes had lost their roofs, including her own.
Flooding was a big concern, given the island steep mountains, cut through with rivers that rage even after a heavy rain. Dominica was still recovering from Tropical Storm Erika, which killed 30 people and destroyed more than 370 homes in August 2015.
Forecasters said the storm surge from Maria could raise water levels by 6 to 9 feet (1.8 to 2.7 meters) near the storm center. The storm was predicted to bring 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 centimeters) of rain across the islands, with more in isolated areas.
A tropical storm warning was posted for coastal areas in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and tropical storm watches were up for parts of New York Long Island and Connecticut.