SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Thursday September 21, 2017 – Puerto Ricans could be in darkness for another six months after Hurricane Maria yesterday practically destroyed the island’s electricity system.
The blow from the hurricane on the US Virgin Islands (USVI) has also triggered a 24-hour curfew in the US Virgin Islands.
When Maria moved ashore Puerto Rico last night as the most powerful storm to hit the US territory in almost a century, it knocked out the entire island’s power, plunging its 3.4 million residents into darkness. And CEO of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, Ricardo Ramos, told CNN that it could take four to six months for electricity to be restored.
“The system has been basically destroyed,” he said.
Hurricane Maria toppled trees, shattered windows, and ripped roofs and doors off homes. It also caused massive flooding on highways and in communities.
WATCH: Floodwaters rush through streets of Guyama, Puerto Rico as Hurricane Maria strikes the island (via Cruz Rodriguez Keila) pic.twitter.com/apJvSRibDV
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 20, 2017
— CNN (@CNN) September 21, 2017
— Antonio Paris (@AntonioParis) September 20, 2017
— Marco (WCN News) (@meteorologo777) September 21, 2017
The island is also under a flash flood warning.
“If possible, move to higher ground now,” the National Weather Service in San Juan said. “Catastrophic flash flooding continues.”
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said the devastation in the capital was unlike any she had ever seen.
“The San Juan that we knew yesterday is no longer there,” she told MSNBC.
Over in the USVI, Governor Kenneth Mapp announced a 24-hour curfew on the territory’s four main islands – St Croix, which was hardest hit; St Thomas; St John and Water Island. It will remain in effect until further notice.
“Your presence on the roads during the curfew hours will only hamper clean-up efforts and could delay the distribution of critically needed supplies,” he told citizens.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 21, 2017
Hurricane Maria destroyed homes, caused widespread flooding and knocked out communication on the USVI as well.
— High Tweets (@HighvTweet) September 20, 2017
— U.S. Virgin Islands (@usvirginislands) September 20, 2017
— Aaliyah (@liyahstx) September 20, 2017
Meantime, the Dominican Republic is bracing for more flooding as Maria’s heavy rains continue to impact that country.
The eye of the hurricane will continue to pass offshore of the northern coast of the Dominican Republic today, and then move near or just east of the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeastern Bahamas tonight and tomorrow.