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Hurricane Maria now category 5, Islands brace for impact

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Re: Hurricane Maria now category 5, Islands brace for impact

Post  Admin on Thu 21 Sep 2017, 8:28 pm

Puerto Rico Could Be Without Power For 6 Months
Sep 20, 2017 | 0 |
Puerto Rico Could Be Without Power For 6 Months
Hurricane Maria is likely to have “destroyed” Puerto Rico, the island’s emergency director said Wednesday after the monster storm smashed ripped roofs off buildings and flooded homes across the economically strained U.S. territory. Intense flooding was reported across the territory, particularly in San Juan, the capital, where many residential streets looked like rivers. Yennifer Álvarez Jaimes, Gov.
Ricardo Rosselló’s press secretary told NBC News that all power across the island was knocked out. “Once we’re able to go outside, we’re going to find our island destroyed,” Emergency Management Director Abner Gómez Cortés said at a news briefing. Rosselló imposed a 6 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew, citing flood warnings and the importance of keeping streets clear for repair and rescue teams.
READ MORE https://www.nbcnews.com/news/weather/hurricane-maria-makes-landfall-puerto-rico-category-4-storm-n802911
All Power Out as Hurricane Maria’s Winds, Floods Crush Puerto Rico
by GADI SCHWARTZ, ALEX JOHNSON and DANIEL ARKIN
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Hurricane Maria is likely to have "destroyed" Puerto Rico, the island's emergency director said Wednesday after the monster storm ripped roofs off buildings and flooded homes.

Intense flooding was reported across the economically strained U.S. territory, particularly in San Juan, the capital, where many residential streets looked like rivers.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the entire island shortly after 12:30 a.m. ET.

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Yennifer Álvarez Jaimes, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló's press secretary, told NBC News that all power across the island was knocked out.

"Once we're able to go outside, we're going to find our island destroyed," Emergency Management Director Abner Gómez Cortés said at a news briefing. Rosselló imposed a 6 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew, citing flood warnings and the importance of keeping streets clear for repair and rescue teams.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz told MSNBC that the devastation in the capital was unlike any she had ever seen.

"The San Juan that we knew yesterday is no longer there," Yulín said, adding: "We're looking at four to six months without electricity" in Puerto Rico, home to nearly 3.5 million people.

Maria, the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico since 1928, had maximum sustained winds of 155 mph when it made landfall as a Category 4 storm near the town of Yabucoa just after 6 a.m. ET, the National Hurricane Center said.

After weakening, Maria strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane early Thursday, it added. By 2 a.m. ET, it was about 55 miles north of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Maria: See the Destruction the Category 5 Hurricane Left in its Wake Play Facebook Twitter Embed
Maria: See the Destruction the Category 5 Hurricane Left in its Wake 1:19
Tropical storm conditions were expected to continue on Puerto Rico through the night, but hurricane warnings for the island were lifted late Wednesday as Maria moved away from its the northwest coast.

"The wind threat has decreased," the hurricane center said, but the threat of rain-gorged floods remains "devastating to catastrophic," it said. Airports in San Juan, Aguadilla and Ponce were ordered closed until Friday at the earliest because of flooding and debris, authorities said.

"Extreme rainfall flooding may prompt numerous evacuations and rescues," the agency said. "Rivers and tributaries may overwhelmingly overflow their banks in many places with deep moving water."

Rosanna Cerezo, a lawyer and radio host in metro San Juan, said the city was deluged. It sounded as though bombs were going off when the wind toppled trees around her house, she said.

Along the beachfront, she said, cement structures had been wrenched from their foundations as islanders scrambled for refuge.

"Rooftops collapsed, windows shattered," Cerezo said in a text message. "People are huddled in hallways, closets, bathrooms."

Hurricane Maria Knocks Out Power Across All of Puerto Rico Play Facebook Twitter Embed
Hurricane Maria Knocks Out Power Across All of Puerto Rico 2:26
Maria's next move was expected to take it near the coasts of the Dominican Republic and the Turks & Caicos islands, which were under hurricane warnings, and then begin drifting more northwestward by Friday.

Forecasters said it remained too early to know how close Maria will move to the U.S. mainland, but Domenica Davis, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, said, "It looks like it will stay in the open waters of the Atlantic."

Puerto Rico was already struggling to dig itself out of a historic financial crisis. Maria could destroy any progress the territory has made under a year-old economic rehab plan ─ and set it back further.

Maria was a Category 5 hurricane — the strongest there is — when it hit the Caribbean on Monday night, killing at least seven people on the island of Dominica and one person on Guadeloupe.

Aerial Footage Of Dominica Captures The Destruction Of Hurricane Maria
Play Facebook Twitter Embed
Aerial Footage Of Dominica Captures The Destruction Of Hurricane Maria 0:43
Gadi Schwartz reported from Puerto Rico. Alex Johnson reported from Los Angeles. Daniel Arkin, Daniella Silva and Sandra Lilley reported from New York. Yuliya Talmazan reported from London.
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Re: Hurricane Maria now category 5, Islands brace for impact

Post  Admin on Tue 19 Sep 2017, 12:10 pm

Hurricane Maria smashes Dominica, now menaces other islands
https://www.yahoo.com/news/hurricane-maria-months-2nd-cat-5-storm-lashes-040324557.html?soc_trk=gcm&soc_src=8101ef85-9700-3e6e-a035-164e94c4b51a&.tsrc=notification-brknews
Associated Press
CARLISLE JNO BAPTISTE and DANICA COTO
Associated PressSeptember 19, 201

ROSEAU, Dominica (AP) — Hurricane Maria smashed into Dominica with 160 mph winds, ripping the roof off even the prime minister's residence and causing what he called "mind-boggling" devastation Tuesday as it plunged into a Caribbean region already ravaged by Hurricane Irma.

Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skeritt said on his Facebook page that "initial reports are of widespread devastation" and said he feared there would be deaths due to rain-fed landslides.

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He said even his own house had lost its roof, adding "I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding." Seven minutes later, he reported he had been rescued.

Maria's eye roared over the island late Monday night before the storm briefly dropped to Category 4 strength early Tuesday before resuming its extremely dangerous Category 5 status.

Fierce winds and rain lashed mountainous Dominica for hours. A police official on the island, Inspector Pellam Jno Baptiste, said late Monday night that there were no immediate reports of casualties but it was too dangerous for officers to check conditions.

"Where we are, we can't move," he said in a brief phone interview while hunkered down against the region's second Category 5 hurricane this month.

"The winds are merciless! We shall survive by the grace of God," Skerrit wrote at the start of a series of increasingly harrowing posts on Facebook.

A few minutes later, he messaged he could hear the sound of galvanized steel roofs tearing off houses on the small rugged island.

He then wrote that he thought his home had been damaged. And three words: "Rough! Rough! Rough!"

Officials in Guadeloupe said the French island near Dominica probably would experience heavy flooding and warned that many communities could be submerged. In nearby Martinique, authorities ordered people to remain indoors and said they should be prepared for power cuts and disruption in the water supply.

Authorities in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, which faced the possibility of a direct hit, warned that people in wooden or flimsy homes should find safe shelter before the storm's expected arrival there on Wednesday.

"You have to evacuate. Otherwise, you're going to die," said Hector Pesquera, the island's public safety commissioner. "I don't know how to make this any clearer."

Maria had maximum sustained winds of 160 mph (260 kph) late Monday when it slammed into Dominica.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Maria weakened briefly before recovering sustained winds of 160 mph (260 kph) strength shortly before daybreak Tuesday, with its eye located about 65 miles (100 kilometers) west-southwest of Guadeloupe. The storm was moving west-northwest over the Caribbean at 9 mph (15 kph).

Forecasters warned Maria could even intensify over the next 24 hours or longer, noting its eye had shrunk to a compact 10 miles across and warning: "Maria is developing the dreaded pinhole eye."

That generally means an extremely strong hurricane will get even mightier, said Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami. He said it just like when a spinning ice skater brings in their arms and rotates faster.

"You just don't see those in weaker hurricanes," he said.

The storm's hurricane-force winds extended out about 35 miles (45 kilometers) and tropical storm-force winds out as far as 125 miles (205 kilometers).

Hurricane warnings were posted for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat. A tropical storm warning was issued for Martinique, Antigua and Barbuda, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Lucia and Anguilla.

Forecasters said storm surge could raise water levels by 6 to 9 feet (1.8 to 2.7 meters) near the storm's 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.

Close to its path is the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where territorial Gov. Kenneth Mapp said Tuesday would be "a very, very long night."

St. Thomas and St. John are still stunned from a direct hit by Hurricane Irma, which did extensive damage and caused four deaths on the two islands.

Barry University said it chartered a private plane to carry students and staff from its St. Croix facility to Florida in preparation for Maria. It said 72 people connected to the Barry's Physician Assistant Program and a few pets were on Monday's evacuation flight.

In neighboring Puerto Rico, nearly 70,000 people were still without power following their earlier brush with Irma and nearly 200 remained in shelters as Maria approached.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Puerto Rico had 500 shelters capable of taking in up to 133,000 people in a worst-case scenario. He also said the Federal Emergency Management Agency was ready to bring drinking water and help restore power immediately after the storm, which could hit as a Category 5 hurricane.

"That is catastrophic in every way," said Roberto Garcia with the National Weather Service in San Juan. "People have to act, and they have to act now. They can no longer wait for a miracle."

To the north, Hurricane Jose stirred up dangerous surf and rip currents along the U.S. East Coast, though forecasters said the storm was unlikely to make landfall. Big waves caused by Jose swept five people off a coastal jetty in Rhode Island and they were hospitalized after being rescued.

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's Long Island and Connecticut. Jose's center was about 365 miles (590 kilometers) south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, early Tuesday and moving north at 9 mph (15 kph). The storm had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph).

___

Associated Press writers Ben Fox in Miami, Seth Borenstein in Washington and Carlisle Jno Baptiste in Roseau Dominica contributed to this report.
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Hurricane Maria now category 5, Islands brace for impact

Post  Admin on Tue 19 Sep 2017, 11:30 am

Hurricane Maria now category 5, Islands brace for impact
Sep 18, 2017 | 0 |
Hurricane Maria now category 5, Islands brace for impact
Hurricane Maria was upgraded to a Category 5 storm, the National Hurricane Center said Monday night, as islands including Puerto Rico brace for the impact. Maria is anticipated to approach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday. The storm might make landfall on the eastern side of Puerto Rico and could bring major damage to the U.S. territory late Wednesday morning and into the afternoon — two

weeks to the day since Hurricane Irma tore through Puerto Rico, killing at least three. At 8 p.m. ET on Monday night the center of the storm was located about 15 miles east-southeast of Dominica as it closed in on the Caribbean island. Sustained winds were up to 160 mph as the storm moved west-northwest at 9 mph. Evacuation orders have been issued for parts of Puerto Rico. READ MORE http://abcnews.go.com/US/maria-forecast-intensify-category-dangerous-major-hurricane/story?id=49923831

Hurricane Maria makes landfall on Dominica as Category 5 storm; islands, including Puerto Rico, brace for impact
By EMILY SHAPIRO JOSHUA HOYOSMAX GOLEMBO KARMA ALLEN Sep 18, 2017, 10:18 PM ET
PHOTO: Hurricane Maria is shown in the Atlantic Ocean about 85 miles east of Martinique, Sept. 17, 2017.NASA/Handout via Reuters
WATCHPuerto Rico braces for Hurricane Maria impact
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Hurricane Maria made landfall Monday night on the Caribbean island of Dominica as a Category 5 storm, the National Hurricane Center said, as other islands in the region, including Puerto Rico, brace for the impact.

Maria made landfall on Dominica around 9:15 p.m. local time with estimated winds of 160 mph, radar data from Martinique and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicated, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Dominica was "shut down" as the storm approached, said Anil Etienne, a spokesperson for Dominica’s Office of Disaster Management.

Etienne told ABC News officials are worried about flooding in low-lying areas and have opened about 146 shelters.

Dominica’s prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, said at a news conference today, "This is not a time for heroism. This much water in Dominica is dangerous given our terrain, and therefore persons should not wait for something to happen in order to take action.”

Maria is anticipated to approach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday. The storm might make landfall on the eastern side of Puerto Rico and could bring major damage to the U.S. territory late Wednesday morning and into the afternoon -- two weeks to the day since Hurricane Irma tore through Puerto Rico, killing at least three.


Evacuation orders have been issued for parts of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said starting midday Tuesday, conditions will begin to deteriorate and the island could get between 12 and 18 inches of rain.

Rossello encouraged residents to execute emergency plans immediately. “Now is the moment to save lives,” he said.

Officials said 450 shelters will be opened starting this afternoon and warned of possible catastrophic damage and a possible collapse of the “vulnerable” electrical system.

“Flood-prone areas must be abandoned," said Public Security Secretary Héctor Pesquera. "If not, you will die."

The governor said a federal emergency declaration was requested.

On Monday, President Trump ordered federal assistance to supplement the response efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Most models are forecasting Maria will stay away from Florida and the United States mainland.

PHOTO: The forecast track for Hurricane Maria Sept. 18, 2017.ABC News
The forecast track for Hurricane Maria Sept. 18, 2017.
Jose strengthens to hurricane, may bring Nor'easter-like conditions to New York, Boston
Irma Diary: Residents evaluate Miami's damage after Irma
As Maria is set to travel across the Caribbean, it is likely to affect areas including the British and U.S. Virgin Islands on its way toward Puerto Rico.

PHOTO: The Armys 602nd Area Support Medical Company boards the U.S.S. Kearsarge aircraft carrier from a Navy landing craft during their evacuation from the U.S. Virgin Islands in advance of Hurricane Maria, Sept. 17, 2017. Jonathan Drake/Reuters
The Army's 602nd Area Support Medical Company boards the U.S.S. Kearsarge aircraft carrier from a Navy landing craft during their evacuation from the U.S. Virgin Islands in advance of Hurricane Maria, Sept. 17, 2017. more +
PHOTO: The deck of a U.S. Navy landing craft is crowded with Army soldiers and their belongings as they are evacuated in advance of Hurricane Maria, off St. Thomas shore, U.S. Virgin Islands, Sept. 17, 2017.Jonathan Drake/Reuters
The deck of a U.S. Navy landing craft is crowded with Army soldiers and their belongings as they are evacuated in advance of Hurricane Maria, off St. Thomas shore, U.S. Virgin Islands, Sept. 17, 2017.more +
It was just weeks ago when Irma devastated several Caribbean islands, killing at least 39 people.

This Sept. 14, 2017 photo provided by Guillermo Houwer on Saturday, Sept. 16, shows storm damage to the Biras Creek Resort in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. (Guillermo Houwer via AP)The Associated Press
This Sept. 14, 2017 photo provided by Guillermo Houwer on Saturday, Sept. 16, shows storm damage to the Biras Creek Resort in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. (Guillermo Houwer via AP)more +
This Sept. 14, 2017 photo provided by Guillermo Houwer on Saturday, Sept. 16, shows storm damage to the Biras Creek Resort in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. (Guillermo Houwer via AP)The Associated Press
This Sept. 14, 2017 photo provided by Guillermo Houwer on Saturday, Sept. 16, shows storm damage to the Biras Creek Resort in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. (Guillermo Houwer via AP)more +
Guadeloupe, in addition to Dominica, is likely to see a direct hit from the powerful hurricane.


As Maria approaches Antigua and Barbuda, the islands' officials are warning residents not to be complacent after Irma, which devastated Barbuda.

Philmore Mullin, the head of the National Office of Disaster Services for Antigua and Barbuda, spoke to Antigua and Barbuda's national broadcaster ABS today, urging those in low-lying areas to evacuate and not to wait until the last minute since water can sometimes rise very quickly.

Mullin added that they are prepared and over 40 shelters will be opened for Maria.

"We cannot afford to be complacent -- it is a hurricane," Mullin said. "We need to pull out all the stops and prepare for an impact just in case."

After passing Puerto Rico this week, Maria is expected to graze the Dominican Republic before it moves north toward Turks and Caicos and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean.

ABC News’ Ben Gittleson contributed to this report.

'We will need help of all kinds,' Dominica PM pleads after Cat. 5 Maria tears through
By J.J. GALLAGHER Sep 19, 2017, 6:54 PM ET
PHOTO: Powerful winds and rains of Hurricane Maria hit the city of Petit-Bourg on the French overseas Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, Sept. 19, 2017.PlayCedrik-Isham/AFP/Getty Images
WATCH Hurricane Maria forces evacuations in Puerto Rico
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Hurricane Maria slammed into Dominica on Monday night, lashing the Caribbean island as a Category 5 storm with 160-mph winds and a storm surge of up to 11 feet.

Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit made a series of dire Facebook posts as the storm hit the island, calling the winds "merciless" and saying his residence sustained damages.

"We do not know what is happening outside. We not dare look out. All we are hearing is ... the sound of the fury of the wind. As we pray for its end!" Skerrit wrote.

"My roof is gone. I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding," the prime minister updated later in the night, before announcing, "I have been rescued."

"[W]e have lost all what money can buy and replace," Skerrit wrote early Tuesday. "My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths ... So, far the winds have swept away the roofs of almost every person I have spoken to or otherwise made contact with. The roof to my own official residence was among the first to go and this apparently triggered an avalanche of torn away roofs in the city and the countryside.

"We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds," the prime minister wrote.


Maria was the second catastrophic Category 5 hurricane to strike the region in less than one month. Maria was downgraded to a Category 4 storm early Tuesday with sustained winds of 155 mph but the storm strengthened and packed 160-mph winds again before dawn, the NHC said.

The eye of Maria passed over Dominica Tuesday on its way toward the Leeward Islands. The National Hurricane Center said Maria would "remain an extremely dangerous hurricane" as it approaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Maria made landfall on Dominica around 9:15 p.m. local time with estimated winds of 160 mph, radar data from Martinique and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicated, according to the National Hurricane Center.


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Dominica was "shut down" as the storm approached, said Anil Etienne, a spokesperson for Dominica’s Office of Disaster Management.

Etienne told ABC News officials are worried about flooding in low-lying areas and have opened about 146 shelters.

The latest NHC forecast predicts Maria could maintain its strength, possibly running into Puerto Rico as a Category 4 or 5 storm.

Maria is expected to approach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday. The storm might make landfall on the eastern side of Puerto Rico and could bring major damage to the U.S. territory late Wednesday morning and into the afternoon -- two weeks to the day since Hurricane Irma tore through Puerto Rico, killing at least three.

ABC News' Emily Shapiro, Joshua Hoyos, Max Golembo and Karma Allen contributed to this report.


DEVELOPING: Tropical Storm Maria forms in the Atlantic, Threatens Caribbean
Sep 16, 2017 | 0 |
DEVELOPING: Tropical Storm Maria forms in the Atlantic, Threatens Caribbean
Tropical Storm Maria formed Saturday in the western Atlantic Ocean, prompting a hurricane watch for areas battered by Hurricane Irma last week. Maria is about 590 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles and is packing maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. The storm is moving toward the Caribbean
at 19 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Maria is expected to gain strength through the weekend and become a hurricane by late Monday, forecasters said. Tropical storm watches are posted for Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The hurricane watch covers Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat and Guadeloupe.
READ MORE http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/16/americas/atlantic-storms-lee-maria/index.html
Tropical Storm Maria threatens Caribbean; Lee forms in Atlantic
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Updated 0839 GMT (1639 HKT) September 17, 2017
Tropical Storm Maria may follow Irma's path
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(CNN)Tropical Storm Maria formed Saturday in the western Atlantic Ocean, prompting a hurricane watch for areas battered by Hurricane Irma last week.

Maria is about 590 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles and is packing maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. The storm is moving toward the Caribbean at 19 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Tropical Storm Maria forms in the Atlantic.
Tropical Storm Maria forms in the Atlantic.
Maria is expected to gain strength through the weekend and become a hurricane by late Monday, forecasters said.
Tropical storm watches are posted for Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The hurricane watch covers Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat and Guadeloupe.
Tropical Storm Maria is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane as it impacts the Caribbean.
Tropical Storm Maria is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane as it impacts the Caribbean.
That means areas devastated by Irma could again be dealing with hurricane conditions by Tuesday or Wednesday.
Maria joins Tropical Storm Lee, which formed earlier Saturday in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.
Lee is spinning about 720 miles west-southwest of Cape Verde off northwest Africa and packing maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Lee isn't expected to gain much strength over the next 48 hours and will likely fade to a tropical depression by Wednesday without affecting land, the center said.
These new Atlantic systems join Hurricane Jose, a Category 1 storm spinning about 480 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
Jose could bring rain and wind to the US Northeast early next week.
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