Hurricane Maria now a Category 5 hurricane, sets sights on Puerto Rico

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Hurricane Maria
Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminsitration

A week later, another Category 5 hurricane 

Washington, DC–Only eight days after Hurricane Irma impacted the Suncoast Region, another Category 5 hurricane has formed to the east of the Leeward Islands. This storm, Hurricane Maria, has several similarities of Hurricane Irma: explosive growth, a west-northwest movement, and constitutes a threat to Puerto Rico. But, this time, Hurricane Maria may make direct landfall onto the island of Puerto Rico instead of just skirting it to the north as Hurricane Irma did.

Hurricane Maria
photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – September 19, 11 PM

Current Information

Center location: 15.5 N, 61.4 W

Maximum sustained winds: 160 MPH

Movement: WNW at 9 MPH

Current Spaghetti Models

Hurricane Maria
Photo: South Florida Water Management District

Of the 20 main hurricane model tracks used in this graphic, none at this time, indicate a landfall on the Florida peninsula. In fact only 1 of the 20 predicts a landfall anywhere in the United States.

Puerto Rico imposes rationing of supplies as 70,000 residents still without power

Puerto Rico officials have taken steps to ration certain items, such as bottled water and baby formula, in an attempt to prevent hording and price manipulation of essential staples. Some forecasters estimate that up to 18 inches or more rain may fall, and even though the island was fortunate to not see a direct impact with Hurricane Irma, a direct impact from Hurricane Maria may end up being a devastating blow.

Governor Ricardo Rossello warned Monday of another round of widespread power outages – 70,000 never recovered power from Irma. According to officials, the Federal Emergency Management Administration plans to focus resources to Puerto Rico to help restore power.

As a result, some of the linemen and electric restoration workers who were recently brought into the Suncoast Region to help restore power may now be dispatched to Puerto Rico.

As of September 19th at 12:00 AM, 9,874 customers were still without power in the Suncoast Region. All but 5 were Duke Energy Florida customers. Click on the link below, titled “Power Outage Report,” to compare county-by-county power restoration results.

Power Outage Report

Note: Duke Energy Florida has successfully restored power to almost 1,700,000 homes in about a week’s time.

 

Submitted by: Lou Newman, Publisher, on September 19th at 1:44 AM

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