Hurricane Maria has arrived in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm. Maria made landfall in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, around 6:15 a.m. AST, according to The Weather Channel. This is the first major hurricane to hit Puerto Rico since 1928 when the Okeechobee/San Felipe Segundo hurricane ripped through the area.
Maria is currently 20 miles west of San Juan, the country’s capital and largest city.
“The eyewall of Maria continues to carve through Puerto Rico, passing just south San Juan, lashing the capital with eyewall winds. In advance of the eyewall, the National Weather Service issued a ‘extreme wind warnings’ for several eastern Puerto Rico municipalities.”
Maria has sustained winds of 145 mph with higher gusts, making her an extremely dangerous storm. People on social media have posted about roofs being ripped off.
Heavy rain is also falling all over the island. The National Weather Service in San Juan reported that rain rates were at 5 to 7 inches per hour on Wednesday morning, via Twitter. This rainfall along with the storm surge is causing some major flooding in various areas.
Maria will continue wreaking havoc on Puerto Rico all day today. She won’t start really pulling away until this evening, when she heads northwest toward Turks and Caicos.
“Portions of the Dominican Republic, particularly near the north coast, may see hurricane-force winds develop as soon as Wednesday evening continuing into at least Thursday morning. There is still some uncertainty, as any slight jog of the eyewall north could keep the most intense winds off the coast of the Dominican Republic. In the southeast Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, hurricane conditions are expected to arrive by late Thursday, but conditions will already begin to deteriorate, there, by Thursday morning,” reports The Weather Channel.
Below are some videos taken in Puerto Rico today. As you can see, the conditions are simply awful.