- Island of Puerto Rico is without power after Hurricane Maria swept through the U.S. territory Wednesday
- Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico Wednesday morning as a Cat. 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds
- As of 12.40pm ET, it has weakened to a Cat. 2 storm with 110 mph winds and is heading to Dominican Republic
- The Turks & Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas will see hurricane conditions Thursday evening
- Before hitting Puerto Rico, Maria battered St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands for about five hours overnight
- Forecasters say it could regain strength and Maria could again become a major hurricane by Thursday
- So far, Maria has been blamed for 10 deaths – one on Puerto Rico, seven on Dominica and two on Guadeloupe
Puerto Rico may be without power for months after Hurricane Maria hit the U.S. territory with powerful winds that downed trees, ripped the roofs off homes and turned roads into rivers with flash flooding.
Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told CNN late Wednesday night that it may take months to restore power to the entire island.
He said that as a result of the powerful Category 4 hurricane, no one on the island has power from utilities since the power grid is ‘a little bit old, mishandled and weak’.
‘It depends on the damage to the infrastructure,’ Rosselló said. ‘I’m afraid it’s probably going to be severe. If it is … we’re looking at months as opposed to weeks or days.’
The exact impact of Maria won’t be realized until authorities can do a flyover on the island to see what remains and what has exactly been destroyed. Rosselló said that if transmission lines are in better condition than thought, than power outages could be fixed sooner.
Rosselló also said that at least one person was killed in the storm on the island when a board was ripped from a house it had been nailed to and hit a man. He said that the number of deaths could increase in the next few days.
‘We still don’t have a lot of information,’ he said. ‘We’re virtually disconnected in terms of communications with the southeast part of the island.’
More than 10,000 remained in shelters Wednesday night as the governor has imposed a curfew on the island from 6pm to 6am beginning Wednesday and ending on Saturday morning.
Search and rescue teams began taking to the streets of Puerto Rico, which has a population of 3.3million people, after the storm weakened to a Category 2 and heads for the Dominican Republic.
Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico around 6:15am on Wednesday and the storm moved closer to the Dominican Republic as of 11pm ET
The storm has battered Puerto Rico for most of Wednesday before moving on towards the Dominican Republic