Health Care

This Is Where Hurricane Maria's Path Is Headed After Puerto Rico

This Is Where Hurricane Maria's Path Is Headed After Puerto Rico

"Our first order of business will be search and rescue to ensure we can account for every single citizen and residents who were on the island during this really devastating hurricane".

It already wrecked the island of Dominica on Tuesday, and should hit the U.S. Virgin Islands and fellow U.S. territory Puerto Rico sometime Wednesday morning.

Maria, which went from tropical storm to hurricane on Sunday, rapidly intensified Monday, becoming a major Category 3 storm with 125 miles per hour winds.

Though the British Virgin Islands were not in the direct eye of the horrendous category 5 hurricane, it was still under a catastrophe warning as Maria's outer bands were stretching across the Caribbean. The National Weather Service warned people in Puerto Rico to expect widespread power outages, impassable bridges and roads, storm surges of 6 to 9 feet, and "extreme" flooding.

"Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria is expected to remain a risky major hurricane through Friday", the service said.

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Maria, for now, is a smaller storm than Irma.

Of significant worry is the massive amount of debris left behind by Hurricane Irma, which experts predict could be extremely unsafe in Maria's hurricane-force winds. Mired in a stagnant steering pattern, Jose is ultimately likely to meander and swirl over the cool waters off the Mid-Atlantic or New England states for many days.

The last time the region was threatened by a storm this powerful was in 1928, when the Okeechobee Hurricane roared through the Virgin Islands and slammed Puerto Rico. Initial photos out of St. Croix and Vieques showed downed trees and other similar damage, while reports out of Puerto Rico told of heavy destruction.

Both President Trump and Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló have issued emergency declarations. "This is going to be a catastrophic event".

At the time, the population of Puerto Rico was a little more than 1.5 million people.

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Maria had previously been a Category 5 storm with 175 miles per hour winds.

With Tropical Storm Jose sitting off-shore, New Yorkers avoided its worst effects Tuesday.

Maria is expected to remain a major hurricane into the weekend. And while that seems like a lot, it's happened before.

"At the very least, we know we will get rough surf conditions, rip currents and possibly gusty winds", Barnes said. And more storms can certainly form. They tweet in both Spanish and English.

Follow along below for live updates on the storm.

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Here's a Twitter list of weather experts via meteorologist Eric Holthaus.