The island of Vieques in Puerto Rico is squarely in the path of Hurricane Maria. The Category 5 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 175 miles an hour, is just 120 miles southeast of San Juan, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center.
…EYE OF POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE MARIA NEARING ST. CROIX…
…CORE EXPECTED TO REACH SOUTHEASTERN PUERTO RICO WEDNESDAY MORNING…
The eye of Hurricane Maria “will move near or over St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands within the next couple of hours, then cross Puerto Rico on Wednesday, and pass just north of the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic Wednesday night and Thursday,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
Puerto Rico Governor Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told CNN that Hurricane Maria is expected to be the “worst hurricane in modern history in Puerto Rico.”
“Some fluctuations in intensity could occur before the hurricane reaches Puerto Rico, but Maria is forecast to remain an extremely dangerous category 4 or 5 hurricane as it moves near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Slow weakening is expected after the hurricane emerges over
the Atlantic north of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic,” the National Hurricane Center said.
Reports from reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the area of hurricane-force winds has increased in size. Hurricane-force winds now extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday night to say, “Be careful, our hearts are with you.”
Vieques is just 8 miles east of mainland Puerto Rico. The island’s population is about 9,000 people.