Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of up to 155 miles per hour, made landfall in eastern Puerto Rico on Wednesday morning, and it is expected to lash the U.S. territory with dangerous winds and rain for 12 to 24 hours. Maria, which was a Category 5 hurricane on Monday, is the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico since 1932, and just shy of Hurricane San Felipe, which battered Puerto Rico with 160 mph winds in 1928. "This is going to be an extremely violent phenomenon," said Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. "We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history."
Already on Puerto Rico, metal roofs have been seen flying in the wind, a tree fell on an ambulance, and 900,000 people are without power. Maria has been blamed for at least one death, on Guadeloupe, and the island of Dominica, which took a direct hit Sunday night, is still incommunicado but believed to be badly wrecked. Overnight, the hurricane passed over or near St. Croix, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands that was largely spared by Hurricane Irma.