8pm Update from National Hurricane Center plus Maria’s wrath (New videos)

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According to the Weather Channel, tens of thousands of people in the Dominican Republic were left without power after Hurricane Maria slammed into the island Thursday.

“In the south zone there are four circuits out of service, and about 40,613 customers, or 30 percent of the population,” Dominican Corporation of State Electrical Companies (CDEEE) Emergency Operations Center representative Ernesto Perez told DominicanToday.com.

The storm has contributed to at least 19 deaths, including 15 from the devastated Caribbean island of Dominica, the country’s prime minister announced Thursday.

Puerto Rico is reportedly no longer the island it once was.  Trees have been ripped away, and most of the island is without power.  So far, two deaths were reported in Puerto Rico, including a man died who died off the coast of the island Wednesday after a boat capsized near Vieques, the U.S. Coast Guard reports. In a search and rescue effort by the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and British Royal Navy, a woman and two children also on the boat were rescued.

Forecasters say Puerto Rico will see up to an additional eight inches of rain through Saturday, adding to the several feet of rain that has fallen on parts of the island. Caguas, in the central mountains, has received the most rain on the island during Maria, 37.9 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

There is significant concern about the expected “life-threatening” storm surge of nine to 12 feet in the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos, according to Michael Brennan of the National Hurricane Center.

The storm remains a Category 3 as it heads for Turks and Caicos.

Scroll down to bottom for new VIDEOS from Dominica, and the Domincan Republic.

8pm BULLETIN

BULLETIN
Hurricane Maria Intermediate Advisory Number 23A
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL152017
800 PM AST Thu Sep 21 2017

…LARGE EYE OF HURRICANE MARIA GRADUALLY APPROACHING THE TURKS AND
CAICOS ISLANDS…

SUMMARY OF 800 PM AST…0000 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…20.9N 70.0W
ABOUT 85 MI…135 KM NNE OF PUERTO PLATA DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
ABOUT 80 MI…130 KM ESE OF GRAND TURK ISLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…125 MPH…205 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…955 MB…28.20 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

None.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata
* Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Dominican Republic west of Puerto Plata to the northern border of
the Dominican Republic and Haiti

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Central Bahamas

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and
property should be rushed to completion.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are
possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Interests in the Bahamas should monitor the progress of Maria.

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products
issued by your national meteorological service.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
At 800 PM AST (0000 UTC), the large eye of Hurricane Maria was
located near latitude 20.9 North, longitude 70.0 West. Maria is
moving toward the northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general
motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the
north-northwest is forecast early Friday, with that motion
continuing through Saturday. On the forecast track, Maria’s eye
will continue to pass offshore of the northern coast of the
Dominican Republic this evening, and then move near or just east of
the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeastern Bahamas later
tonight and on Friday.

Preliminary reports from an Air Force reconnaissance plane indicate
that the maximum sustained winds have increased to around 125 mph
(205 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is a category 3 hurricane on
the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Little change in strength
is expected during the next couple of days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from
the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160
miles (260 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure from the reconnaissance
plane was 955 mb (28.20 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
WIND: Hurricane and tropical storm conditions continue across
portions of the Dominican Republic. Tropical storm conditions are
beginning to spread across the Turks and Caicos Islands and the
southeastern Bahamas, and hurricane conditions are expected tonight
or early Friday. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the
central Bahamas beginning late Friday.

STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and
destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 4 to 6 feet
above normal tide levels in the hurricane warning area in the
Dominican Republic, and 1 to 3 ft elsewhere along the northern
coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves
will raise water levels by as much as 9 to 12 feet above normal
tide levels within the hurricane warning area of the southeastern
Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

RAINFALL: Maria is expected to produce the following rainfall
accumulations through Saturday:

Puerto Rico…additional 4 to 8 inches, isolated maximum storm total
amounts 40 inches
Northern and eastern Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, and
Mayaguana in southeast Bahamas…8 to 16 inches, isolated 20 inches
Inagua Islands, Crooked Island, and rest of southeast Bahamas…4 to
8 inches
Northern Haiti…4 to 8 inches

Rainfall on these islands will continue to cause life-threatening
flash floods and mudslides.

SURF: Swells generated by Maria are affecting Puerto Rico, the
Virgin Islands, the northern coast of Hispaniola, the Turks and
Caicos Islands, and the southeastern Bahamas. These swells will
reach the remainder of the Bahamas tonight and should reach portions
of the United States southeastern coast on Friday. These swells are
likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Please consult products from your local weather office.

NEXT ADVISORY
————-
Next complete advisory at 1100 PM AST.

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