Hurricane Maria devastates Dominica island

Tropical storm Maria threatening battered Caribbean islands

Hurricane Maria, the thirteenth named storm of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, has rapidly intensified into a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 160 miles per hour as of the 11 a.m. advisory (9/19/17) from the National Hurricane Center. The storm is moving in a similar direction to hurricane Irma, which left destruction along many islands and Florida. Skerrit said at the time that the devastation caused could set the country back decades. He also said that the winds have swept away the roofs of many other people.

"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", Skerrit wrote of the damage.

"We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds", the prime minister said.

Though there were no initial reports of casualties, Skerrit said his fear was that heavy rains will set off unsafe landslides.

Dominica's Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, said at a news conference today, "This is not a time for heroism.

We have 500 shelters, (we're) moving people to those shelters and hopefully weathering the storm so we can rebuild Puerto Rico". Local news account Kevz Politics reported that school was canceled, police headquarters were flooded and Roseau's hospital, in the island's capital, had lost its roof.

Maria's winds got even stronger just before reaching the island, meaning it became a category five hurricane.

Also in the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose is producing unsafe surf and rip currents along the East Coast of the United States.

In this photo A auto passes next to a banner warning of a "Red Alert" for rains as Hurricane Maria approaches in Pointe-a-Pitre.

American Airlines is capping one-way nonstop fares at $99 in coach and $199 in premium cabins on flights departing 12 airports in Antigua, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rossello has declared a state of emergency ahead of the landfall expected on Wednesday.

It is important to note that Hurricane Maria is now a category 5 and very powerful.

As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, Category 5 Hurricane Maria was spinning toward the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico with maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour about 85 west of Guadalupe, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Meanwhile, Jose remained a Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic as it churned up risky surf and rip currents along the U.S. East Coast.

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