Hurricane Maria lashing Dominican Republic after demolishing Puerto Rico

Tropical storm warning for Baja California as Hurricane Norma nears

They chose that island over St. Croix because it had avoided a direct hit from Irma and therefore had more outbound flights scheduled. City Council Speaker Mellissa Mark-Viverito said she's been able to briefly talk with her mother in Puerto Rico, but she doesn't know about other family members and she's anxious.

Hurricane Maria barreled across Puerto Rico early Wednesday.

The declaration allows for federal resources to be used for Puerto Rico's recovery efforts.

It's 15 miles from Arecibo and 25 miles from San Juan-the capital.

Hurricane Maria has knocked out power to the entire island of Puerto Rico, home to 3.5m people, emergency officials have said.

Trees block the streets after Hurricane Maria at Escambron Beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017.

Maria made landfall in Yabucoa in the east of Puerto Rico early on Wednesday as a category four storm, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The last time a Category 4 hurricane hit Puerto Rico was 1932, per the Washington Post.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz told CNN, "We are going to be hit hard but we are blessed that we have what it takes to move and push on".

"After beginning their mission this morning before the center first moved onshore, the crew went above and beyond, returning to Curacao to refuel, and then heading back to Puerto Rico to catch Maria's center when it first moved back off the coast", the forecasters wrote in their 5 p.m. update. Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States after the Spanish-American War in 1898, and Puerto Ricans became US citizens in 1917.

On the island of Guadeloupe, two people were killed, floodwaters have inundated towns and nearly half the population is without power. No further details were available, and officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

The National Weather Service's "cone of uncertainty", produced Wednesday, tracked Maria turning north in the Atlantic Ocean and weakening to winds under 110 miles per hour through next Monday morning.

The storm is moving northwest and is expected to strengthen as it heads toward the Turks and Caicos Islands, another British overseas territory, and the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday night and into Friday. Your Government will neither rest nor grow tired as we continue to work with our federal partners and our friends across the mainland and around the world, to clean up and reconstruct the lovely U.S. Virgin Islands. Fallen trees and downed power poles have blocked many roads there, Collomb said.

Without Hurricane Jose, Maria might have taken the same path as Hurricane Irma through Florida because of the high-pressure area becoming one solid ridge, USA Today explained.

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