Maria leaves ‘total devastation’ in Puerto Rico

Maria leaves ‘total devastation’ in Puerto Rico


By Holly Yan, Euan McKirdy and Jaide Timm-Garcia, CNN

Hurricane Maria pounds Puerto Rico after killing 7 people in Dominica

San Juan, Puerto Rico (CNN)Hurricane Maria kept thrashing Puerto Rico on Wednesday, ripping trees out of the ground and hammering two-thirds of the island with hurricane-force winds.

“This is total devastation,” said Carlos Mercader, a spokesman for Puerto Rico’s governor. “Puerto Rico, in terms of the infrastructure, will not be the same. … This is something of historic proportions.”

Maria killed seven people on the Caribbean island nation of Dominica, said Gaston Browne, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. Browne said he had been communicating with the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, who reported “widespread devastation” and whose own house was shredded by the storm.


Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on Wednesday near the city of Yabucoa with winds of 155 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. By 11 a.m., those winds had weakened to 140 mph, but Maria was still a Category 4 hurricane capable of ripping roofs off houses.
It was expected to dump at least 12 to 18 inches of rain on the island before barreling toward the Dominican Republic starting Wednesday night, then on to Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas by Thursday night, the National Hurricane Center predicted.