MARIA DESTROYS HOMES, TRIGGERS FLOODING IN PUERTO RICO…
Island ENTIRELY without power…
‘Winds like horror movie’…
Rivers burst banks…
‘It’s destroyed everything in its path’: Puerto Rico in total darkness after Hurricane Maria knocks out 100% of the island’s power while nearly two feet of rain turns roads into rivers of mud
The entire island of Puerto Rico is without power after Hurricane Maria swept through the U.S. territory
Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico Wednesday morning as a Cat. 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds
The Turks & Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas will see hurricane conditions Thursday evening
Before hitting Puerto Rico, Maria battered St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands for about five hours
Forecasters say it could regain strength and Maria could again become a major hurricane by Thursday
So far, Maria has been blamed for nine deaths – seven on Dominica and two on Guadeloupe
Rescue teams take to Puerto Rico streets in darkness amid warnings that power could be out for months following devastating hit from Hurricane Maria
Puerto Rico may be without power for months after Hurricane Maria hit the U.S. territory with powerful winds that downed trees, ripped the roofs off homes and turned roads into rivers with flash flooding.
Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told CNN late Wednesday night that it may take months to restore power to the entire island.
He said that as a result of the powerful Category 4 hurricane, no one on the island has power from utilities since the power grid is ‘a little bit old, mishandled and weak’.
‘It depends on the damage to the infrastructure,’ Rosselló said. ‘I’m afraid it’s probably going to be severe. If it is … we’re looking at months as opposed to weeks or days.’
He added: ‘It’s nothing short of a major disaster.’
The exact impact of Maria won’t be realized until authorities can do a flyover on the island to see what remains and what exactly has been destroyed. Rosselló said that if transmission lines are in better condition than thought, then power outages could be fixed sooner.
Rosselló also said that at least one person was killed in the storm on the island when a board was ripped from a house it had been nailed to and struck a man. He said that the number of deaths could increase in the next few days.
‘We still don’t have a lot of information,’ he said. ‘We’re virtually disconnected in terms of communications with the southeast part of the island.’
Though the storm had moved back out to sea, authorities early Thursday declared a flash flood warning for all of Puerto Rico as ‘torrential’ rains continued to lash the island.
‘If possible, move to higher ground NOW!’ the National Weather Service station in San Juan said in a tweet, calling the flooding ‘catastrophic.’
Puerto Rico was expected to receive 20 to 30 inches of rain through Saturday, with some isolated areas receiving 35 inches, the US National Hurricane Center said.
The rain had turned some roads in the US territory into muddy brown rivers.
More than 10,000 remained in shelters Wednesday night as the governor has imposed a curfew on the island from 6pm to 6am beginning Wednesday and ending on Saturday morning.
Search and rescue teams began taking to the streets of Puerto Rico, which has a population of 3.3million people, after the storm temporarily weakened to a Category 2 and headed for the Dominican Republic.
By early Thursday, Maria had regained its major hurricane status, rising to a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds increasing to near 115 mph with higher gusts. Maria’s fierce core is centered northeast of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
It has thrashed parts of the country with heavy rain and high winds as it passes by its coasts.