Hurricane Maria Expected to Hit US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico - NHC

Hurricane Maria strengthens in the Atlantic

In addition to government aid, the British Virgin Islands has received help from a group of sailors from Puerto Rico, who have always been visiting the territory on holiday and wanted to help. The Bahamas could get hit by Maria though, and there are also model runs that show hurricane Maria heading for a landfall further up the USA eastern seaboard. He said that even his own roof had blown away.

"We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds".

Heavy rain lashed the island and several areas were without power. A police official on the island, Inspector Pellam Jno Baptiste, said late Monday night that there were no immediate reports of casualties but it was too risky for officers to check conditions.

The most recent NHC report envisages a swift strengthening in the coming 48 hours and "Maria is expected to become a risky hurricane before it moves across the Leeward Islands". "The winds are merciless! We shall survive by the grace of God", Skerrit wrote at the start of a series of increasingly harrowing posts. A few minutes later, he reported that he had been rescued.

He then wrote that he thought his home had been damaged.

Akamai Technologies, a company that tracks the status of the internet around the world, said most of Dominica's internet service appeared to be down at midday. He predicted that most islanders would be without electricity for weeks, and "some folks will not get power in months".

Early reports from the island indicate severe damage. For those choosing to stay in their homes during the storm, he said, they might consider climbing into a second-floor bathtub and pulling a mattress over them to stay safe in the event they lose their roofs.

Maria regained rare Category 5 strength, the top end of the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, as it churned about 150 miles (240 km) southeast of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. forecasters said.

Federal assistance will be directed to the islands, as the hurricane nears.

Following a similar path to Irma, Maria is expected to reach the British Virgin Islands on Tuesday night and into Wednesday.

"You have to evacuate. Otherwise, they will die", Public Safety Commissioner Hector Pesquera said at a news conference.

Hurricane Jose has winds of 75 miles per hour and a central pressure of 972mb, but this storm is expected to weaken somewhat.

Meanwhile, Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skeritt said on his Facebook page while the Category 5 storm was raging over his island nation that he would venture out to see the damage and secure needed help once the all-clear was given.

Hurricane Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 miles per hour (15 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday.

Next, Hurricane Maria is likely to make landfall in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.

Forecasters said storm surge could raise water levels by 6 to 9 feet near the storm's center.

Up to 51cm (20 inches) of rain could also drench the British and US Virgin Islands on Wednesday night.

Barry University said it chartered a private plane to carry students and staff from its St. Croix facility to Florida in preparation for Maria. A curfew would be imposed starting at 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday, he said. In Puerto Rico, 12 to 18 inches and isolated 25 inches are expected. So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace. "We're going to have to rebuild".

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