HURRICANE MARIA: Category 5 Hurricane Maintains Strength, Puerto Rico Prepares For Evening Landfall

By  //  September 19, 2017

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ABOVE VIDEO: Powerful storm batters Caribbean two weeks after Hurricane Irma; senior meteorologist Janice Dean is tracking the hurricane from the Fox Extreme Weather Center.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – National Hurricane Center’s latest report shows Hurricane Maria maintaining strength with max sustained winds at 160 mph and moving north-northwest at 10 mph.

Maria is about 110 miles southeast of St. Croix and 140 miles west of Guadeloupe.

The Dominican Republic has issued a Hurricane Warning from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata, while a Tropical Storm Warning has been issued to the west of Puerto Plata to the northern border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The Government of France has changed the Hurricane Warning for Guadeloupe to a Tropical Storm Warning, and discontinued the Tropical Storm Warning for Martinique.

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A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Culebra, Vieques and Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Anguilla and Isla Saona to Cabo Engano.

Maria is forecast to move over the northeastern Caribbean Sea today and impact the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico through tonight
into Wednesday.

RAINFALL

The following shows the islands’ expected rainfall totals for Hurricane Maria through Thursday:

• Central and southern Leeward Islands…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches.
• U.S. and British Virgin Islands…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches.
• Puerto Rico…12 to 18 inches, isolated 25 inches.
• Northern Leeward Islands from Barbuda to Anguilla…4 to 8 inches, isolated 10 inches.
• Windward Islands and Barbados…2 to 4 inches, isolated 6 inches.
• Eastern Dominican Republic…4 to 8 inches, isolated 12 inches.

STORM SURGE

A dangerous storm surge is expected with Hurricane Maria as large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 7 to 11 feet above normal tide levels in the hurricane warning area near the center of Maria as it moves across the Leeward Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands are expected to see a 6 to 9 foot storm surge by tonight.

WIND

Hurricane conditions will continue in portions of the hurricane warning area in the Leeward Islands this afternoon, and spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight and Wednesday.

Tropical storm conditions are occurring over the remainder of the Leeward Islands, and should spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico starting in the next several hours.

The Weather Channel says Hurricane Maria could be a catastrophic strike unlike anything seen in these areas since 1928.

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