Hurricane Maria Intensifies as it Moves Toward Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria strengthens

At 8:00 p.m., the eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 15.3 North, longitude 61.1 West.

Hurricane Maria is tracking through the Caribbean through areas devastated by Hurricane Irma earlier this month.

"Additional rapid strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria is expected to be a risky major hurricane as it moves through the Leeward Islands and the northeastern Caribbean Sea", the NHC said at 11 a.m. Monday.

Hurricane Maria doubled in strength Monday afternoon and will continue to intensify, with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour as it closes in on the Caribbean.

Hurricane Maria made landfall in Dominica Tuesday morning, bringing "mind boggling" destruction to the island, according to Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

It is important to note that Hurricane Maria is now a category 5 and very powerful. It wasn't expected to make landfall but tropical storm watches were posted along the coast from DE to Massachusetts' Cape Cod.

Dominica has faced a lot of damage and devastation in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

"Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion", the NHC said, warning of "large and destructive" storm surge waves in Maria's path.




The National Hurricane Center has a page updating every few hours with the latest watches and warnings for Maria.

Nearly 15inches of rain is predicted to fall as Maria storms across the Caribbean, with "isolated maximum amounts of 20in" expected to deluge the British Virgin Islands.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Culebra and Vieques.

Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rossello has declared a state of emergency ahead of the landfall expected on Wednesday.

Still, this is the first time since 2007 that two Category 5 hurricanes have formed in the Atlantic in the same season.

Some models indicate that Maria will avoid the U.S. East Coast and careen into the Atlantic, but as The Washington Post noted, it's far too early to depend on that forecast.

One lawyer based in Dominica said that his roof and ceiling had collapsed and his pain was further compounded by two inches of water in his house.

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