As of 8 a.m., Maria is packing 155 mph winds — just 2 mph short of a Cat 5 classification — and has just made landfall on Puerto Rico's southeastern coast near the city of Yabucoa. The storm is officially the third most powerful to make landfall on any U.S. territory, and its eye will cross the narrow island this morning, carving a path of devastation that will likely include San Juan, the capital of 2.3 million people.
Video shot in Puerto Rico shows an intense storm pounding the coast as it moved ashore.
In San Juan, millions scrambled to find safe shelter a little more than a week after Hurricane Irma skirted the island. In fact, the main convention center in the capital is still housing Irma victims from around the Caribbean who lost their homes in that storm. Now they'll have to weather another powerful hurricane in the emergency center.
This is what it looks like in San Juan as Maria makes landfall near southeast coastal town of Yabucoa at 6:15 am EST with winds of 155mph pic.twitter.com/yxqmuagK9J— Dánica Coto (@danicacoto) September 20, 2017
Others have sought shelter in hotels and high-rises, but damage reports are already coming in from places such as Fajardo, a town on the eastern coast where storm chaser Mike Theiss holed up this morning:
Here in Florida, there is good news today. The tracking models increasingly agree Maria will curve north out to sea after passing near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. For the Sunshine State, it looks increasingly clear that Maria won't be another Irma.