Puerto Ricans prepare for Hurricane Maria's arrival

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It may weaken slightly but is still expected to be an "extremely risky category 4 or 5" when it hits Puerto Rico, the hurricane center said.

Of those storms, Irma and Maria have reached rare "Category 5" status, with sustained winds of 160mph.

The center of Hurricane Maria made landfall about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday near Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, as a Category 4 storm, the National Hurricane Center reports.

A hurricane warning was also in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Culebra, Vieques, and the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata.

"Some fluctuations in intensity could occur before the hurricane reaches Puerto Rico, but Maria is forecast to remain an extremely risky category 4 or 5 hurricane as it moves near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico". The storm was upgraded from a category two to three and then five in just one day.

"It's just: Hunker down and pray, a lot of praying", said Cinthia Cotto, who moved to Puerto Rico from Hartford earlier this month to care for her aging parents.


As people in Puerto Rico prep, others have already evacuated to the hundreds of shelters open across the island.

As Jose heads further out to sea, the concern for many is now Hurricane Maria.

"We didn't have electricity for quite a bit, there's some that have no electricity yet", she said.

About 40 percent of the island - 80,000 homes - were without power and flooding was reported in several communities.

Many people are still dealing with the massive wave of destruction from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and the bad news is that it might not be over. Forecasters predict that Maria will only get stronger over the next 48 hours.

About 80,000 homes lost power in Guadeloupe. "We shall survive by the grace of God", Skerrit posted, before describing how he could hear the sound of steel roofs being torn off houses, including his own. It urged residents to stay indoors and take shelter in their most secure room.

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