Hurricane Maria Is An Extremely Dangerous Category 4 Heading in Dominica’s Direction

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday September 18, 2017 – A quickly intensifying Maria is now an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane whose eye is expected to pass near Dominica during the next few hours.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said the hurricane’s maximum sustained winds are now near 130 miles per hour and it’s expected to strengthen even further.

At 5 p.m., Hurricane Maria was about 45 miles east southeast of Dominica and about 35 miles northeast of Martinique, and moving towards the west northwest at 9 miles per hour.

“On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move near Dominica and the adjacent Leeward Islands during the next few hours, over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea the remainder of tonight and Tuesday, and approach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Tuesday night and Wednesday,” the NHC said.

“Hurricane conditions should be spreading across Dominica, Guadeloupe, and Martinique during the next few hours, with tropical storm conditions already occurring over portions of the Leeward Islands. Hurricane conditions should spread through the remainder of the hurricane warning area tonight through Wednesday.”

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…

* Guadeloupe

* Dominica

* St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat

* Martinique

* U.S. Virgin Islands

* British Virgin Islands

* Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…

* Antigua and Barbuda

* Saba and St. Eustatius

* St. Maarten

* Anguilla

* St. Lucia

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…

* Saba and St. Eustatius

* St. Maarten

* St. Martin and St. Barthelemy

* Anguilla

* Isla Saona to Puerto Plata

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…

* St. Vincent and the Grenadines

* West of Puerto Plata to the northern Dominican Republic-Haiti border

The NHC says hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area tomorrow through Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions possible tonight. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the tropical storm watch area in St. Vincent and the Grenadines through tonight, and are possible in the tropical storm watch area in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.

According to the forecasters,  a dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 6 to 9 feet above normal tide levels in the hurricane warning area near where the center of Maria moves across the Leeward Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

Additionally, the combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.

Hurricane Maria is expected to produce the following rain accumulations through Thursday:

Central and southern Leeward Islands – 10 to 15 inches; isolated 20 inches.

US and British Virgin Islands – 10 to 15 inches; isolated 20 inches.

Puerto Rico – 12 to 18 inches; isolated 25 inches.

Northern Leeward Islands from Barbuda to Anguilla – 4 to 8 inches; isolated 10 inches.

Windward Islands and Barbados – 2 to 4 inches; isolated 6 inches.

Eastern Dominican Republic – 4 to 8 inches; isolated 12 inches.

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