The prime minister of Dominica posted online that Hurricane Maria devastated the island, sweeping away the roofs “of almost every” residence he contacted—including his own.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit posted a harrowing message on Facebook during the storm:
“Initial reports are of widespread devastation. So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace. My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains.
“So, far the winds have swept away the roofs of almost every person I have spoken to or otherwise made contact with. The roof to my own official residence was among the first to go and this apparently triggered an avalanche of torn away roofs in the city and the countryside.
“Come tomorrow morning we will hit the road, as soon as the all clear is given, in search of the injured and those trapped in the rubble.
“I am honestly not preoccupied with physical damage at this time, because it is devastating…indeed, mind boggling. My focus now is in rescuing the trapped and securing medical assistance for the injured.
“We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds.
“It is too early to speak of the condition of the air and seaports, but I suspect both will be inoperable for a few days. That is why I am eager now to solicit the support of friendly nations and organisations with helicopter services, for I personally am eager to get up and get around the country to see and determine what’s needed.” — Skerrit
The National Hurricane Center issued an update on Maria at 8 a.m. EDT, Tuesday. New warnings were issued for the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The two islands have yet to recover from Hurricane Irma after hit them last week and caused massive damage. (See chart at bottom.)
Hurricane Maria Intermediate Advisory Number 13A
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL152017
800 AM AST Tue Sep 19 2017
…POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC HURRICANE MARIA HEADED FOR THE VIRGIN
ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO…
SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 85 MI…135 KM W OF GUADELOUPE
ABOUT 170 MI…275 KM SE OF ST. CROIX
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…160 MPH…260 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…933 MB…27.55 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:
The Meteorological Service of St. Lucia has discontinued the
Tropical Storm Warning for St. Lucia.
The Meteorological Service of Barbados has discontinued the
Tropical Storm Watch for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* British Virgin Islands
* Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Antigua and Barbuda
* Saba and St. Eustatius
* St. Maarten
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Saba and St. Eustatius
* St. Maarten
* St. Martin and St. Barthelemy
* Isla Saona to Puerto Plata
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* West of Puerto Plata to the northern Dominican Republic-Haiti
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 Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible
within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours
before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force
winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are
possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
Interests elsewhere in Hispaniola, the southeastern Bahamas, and
the Turks and Caicos Islands should monitor the progress of Maria.
Additional watches and warnings may be required today.
For storm information specific to your area in the United
States, including possible inland watches and warnings, please
monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service
forecast office. For storm information specific to your area outside
the United States, please monitor products issued by your national
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), the center of Hurricane Maria was located
near latitude 16.2 North, longitude 62.8 West. Maria is moving
toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general
motion is expected to continue through Wednesday. On the forecast
track, the eye of Maria will move over the northeastern Caribbean
Sea today, and approach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight
Maximum sustained winds are near 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher
gusts. Maria is a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane on
the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in
intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Maria is
forecast to remain an extremely dangerous category 4 or 5 hurricane
while it approaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from
the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to
125 miles (205 km). Sustained tropical storm force winds have
recently been reported from Guadeloupe and Antigua.
The minimum central pressure estimated from Air Force Reserve
Hurricane Hunter data is 933 mb (27.55 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
WIND: Hurricane conditions will continue to spread throughout
portions of the hurricane warning area in the Leeward Islands this
morning. Hurricane conditions should spread through the remainder
of the hurricane warning area later today and Wednesday. Hurricane
conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area in the
Dominican Republic late Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions
possible by early Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are possible
in the tropical storm watch area in the Dominican Republic on
Wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains
could be much stronger than the near-surface winds indicated in this
STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and
destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 7 to 11
feet above normal tide levels in the hurricane warning area near
where the center of Maria moves across the Leeward Islands and the
British Virgin Islands.
The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause
normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters
moving inland from the shoreline. The water is expected to reach
the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the
time of high tide…
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands…6 to 9 ft
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to
the north and east of the landfall location, where the surge will be
accompanied by large and destructive waves. Surge-related
flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal
cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. For information
specific to your area, please see products issued by your local
National Weather Service forecast office.
RAINFALL: Maria is expected to produce the following rain
accumulations through Thursday:
Central and southern Leeward Islands…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20
U.S. and British Virgin Islands…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20
Puerto Rico…12 to 18 inches, isolated 25 inches.
Northern Leeward Islands from Barbuda to Anguilla…4 to 8 inches,
isolated 10 inches.
Windward Islands and Barbados…2 to 4 inches, isolated 6 inches.
Eastern Dominican Republic…4 to 8 inches, isolated 12 inches.
Rainfall on all of these islands will cause life-threatening flash
floods and mudslides.
SURF: Swells generated by Maria are affecting the Lesser Antilles.
These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip
current conditions. Please consult products from your local
Next complete advisory at 1100 AM AST.
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