Hurricane Maria Jumps To Powerful Category 4, Hurricane Warning Issued For Puerto Rico

By  //  September 18, 2017

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next update set for 8 p.m.

ABOVE VIDEO: Forecasters keep wary eye on Hurricane Maria.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Hurricane Maria has been upgraded to a Category 4 after the latest 5 p.m. report reveals the storm has increased in max sustained wind speed of 130 mph.

Maria is located about 35 miles northeast from Martinique and 45 miles east-southeast of Dominica.

Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph, and is expected to slightly decrease in forward speed through Tuesday night, according to NHC.

Hurricane warning has been added for Puerto Rico,  Culebra and Vieques.

Hurricane Maria has been upgraded to a Category 4 after the latest 5 p.m. report reveals the storm has increased in max sustained wind speed of 130 mph. (NHC Image)

Forecasters expect Maria to strengthen rapidly in the next 24-36 hours.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect for Culebra, Dominica, Guadeloupe, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Martinique,Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and Vieques.

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Meanwhile, Hurricane Watches are also in effect for  Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy and Anguilla.

The Government of the Dominican Republic has issued a Hurricane Watch from Isla Saona to Puerto Plata.

National Hurricane Center says a dangerous storm surge will be accompanied with Maria that includes large and destructive waves which will raise water levels by as much as 6 to 9 feet above normal tide levels in the hurricane warning area near where the center of Maria.

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