In what seems to be an endless procession of major hurricanes this summer, Hurricane Maria strengthened overnight to a Category 3 storm and is expected to strengthen further as it makes its way straight toward Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
Maria’s winds are howling at a maximum speed of 120 mph, with even higher gusts.
It is expected to be a Category 4 hurricane by the time it makes landfall at Puerto Rico Wednesday morning.
Puerto Rico’s governor declared a State of Emergency and ordered evacuations ahead of the rapidly worsening conditions, even as the island’s residents continue reeling from the damage of Hurricane Irma only one week before.
At this time, all governments across the Leeward Islands have watches and warnings in effect.
A hurricane warning is in effect for Dominica, Guadeloupe, St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat.
A hurricane watch is in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques and Cuebra, the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, and Anguilla .
A tropical storm warning is in effect for Antigua and Barbuda and St Lucia.
And a tropical storm watch is in effect for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
It should be noted that Trinidad and Tobago is at this time not under any tropical storm watch or warning.