Hurricane Maria Hits Vieques in Puerto Rico

National Hurricane Center

The island of Vieques in Puerto Rico is squarely in the path of Hurricane Maria. The Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles an hour, is just 15 miles south-southwest of San Juan, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The eye of Maria will make landfall in Puerto Rico in a couple of hours, cross Puerto Rico today, and pass just north of the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic tonight and Thursday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles. Fajardo recently reported sustained winds of 79 mph with a gust to 100 mph.

Puerto Rico Governor Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told CNN that Hurricane Maria is expected to be the “worst hurricane in modern history in Puerto Rico.”

Hurricane Maria passed by St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday night as it was downgraded from a Category 5 storm.

Storm surge could be as high as 6 to 9 feet. Rainfall is expected to reach 12 to 15 inches, with 25 inches in some areas.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday night to say, “Be careful, our hearts are with you.”

Vieques is just 8 miles east of mainland Puerto Rico. The island’s population is about 9,000 people.

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