Published: Tue, September 19, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Jose to pass as Maria eyes up the Caribbean

Jose to pass as Maria eyes up the Caribbean

At 11 a.m. Monday, it was positioned 60 miles east of Martinique, plowing west-northwest at 10 mph.

Numerous islands in its predicted path, including the British Virgin Islands, St Kitts and Nevis and Anguilla are still recovering after being battered by one of the strongest hurricanes in recorded history.

The last major hurricane to strike the island territory directly was Georges, which made landfall there as a Category 3 storm, he said.

As of 8 a.m. Monday morning, Hurricane Maria, now spinning in the Atlantic, has become a category 3 storm and is forecast to hit the Leeward Islands later today, and later this week Puerto Rico.

Residents of some islands fled in advance of the storm.

This Sept. 14, 2017 photo provided by Guillermo Houwer on Saturday, Sept. 16, shows some damaged boats at the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Virgin Gorda, in the British Virgin Islands.

Beth Tamplin Jones, 45, rode out Hurricane Irma earlier this month in the pantry of a friend's house in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"It is projected to be a Category 4 storm as it approaches Puerto Rico", WIS First Alert Meteorologist Tim Miller said.

"We have an extremely weak infrastructure that has already been hit by one storm", he said. "I don't think anybody's ever been hit by a storm like that".

Forecasters said the storm would dump up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) of rain across Puerto Rico and whip the US territory with heavy winds for 12 to 24 hours. "Just remember this is a live animal", he said.

While forecasters don't anticipate Jose making landfall in the U.S., it's still expected to cause "dangerous surf and rip currents" along the East Coast in the next few days, the hurricane center said.

The storm is expected to become a "dangerous major hurricane" later today. Parts of Puerto Rico could see up to 25 inches (64 cm) of rain, it said.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Martin and Anguilla. "All of Puerto Rico will experience hurricane force winds".

Maria packed sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kilometers per hour), bringing the chance of life-threatening storm surge, the advisory said, accompanied by "large and destructive waves", and "hitting the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico".

An Air Force Reserve Unit Hurricane Hunter aircraft flew on a route in and around Maria this morning to investigate the storm's development, the hurricane center said.

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