Thursday, 21 September 2017 14:10

"Maria" destroys Puerto Rico as 100% lose power Featured

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WASHINGTON D.C. (ABC NEWS) - Hurricane Maria is churning off the coast of the Dominican Republic as a category 2 storm after wreaking havoc in Puerto Rico.

Officials there said Maria left the island destroyed and completely without power.

 

Puerto Rico saw huge waves, massive rain and winds of up to 155 miles per hour as the category four storm devastated the island, the most powerful storm to hit the U.S. Territory since 1928.

 

Puerto Rico is picking up the pieces from the wrath of Hurricane Maria. The category four storm tore through the island. Roofs were ripped off buildings, debris went flying and structures toppled. Some areas saw 30 inches of rain.

 

Residents tried desperately to keep the water out of their homes.

 

The Emergency Management Director said the entire island is destroyed. Many of homes were not built to withstand hurricanes, let alone a category four.

 

ABC's Victor Oquendo witnessed the aftermath up close. He said "We're outside of San Juan in the town of Guaynabo that was hit very hard."

 

Destruction to homes, downed trees and power lines as well. And now they're dealing with this, flooding in every direction.

 

The island's 3.4 million people are in the dark. Officials confirmed 100 percent of Puerto Rico lost power. Hospitals now running on generators.

 

12,000 people are packed into shelters, as hotel ballrooms and sports arenas are turned into safe havens.

 

Residents singing about strength through the storm.

 

The recovery slowly beginning, clearing debris from streets. Search and rescue teams deployed. A coast guard cutter standing by, ready to deliver more than 800 gallons of water to the island.

 

Though Hurricane Maria has passed over Puerto Rico, officials are urging residents to continue to shelter in place until further notice. They warn flash flooding and mudslides could be as dangerous as the initial wind and rain from the storm.