Hurricane Maria Category 5 Moves Closer To Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria odels continue to shift away from Sebastian and Vero Beach in Florida, but the storm will cross Puerto Rico on Wednesday.
Hurricane Maria odels continue to shift away from Sebastian and Vero Beach in Florida, but the storm will cross Puerto Rico on Wednesday. (Photo: NOAA)

SEBASTIAN – Hurricane Maria has continued to gain strength as it nears Puerto Rico as a Category 5 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Maria is potentially a catastrophic hurricane as it passes near the U.S. Virgin Islands tonight and over Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Maria has maximum sustained winds of 165 mph.

Florida residents in Sebastian and Vero Beach are watching Hurricane Maria closely as it NOAA’s cone of uncertainty projects the storm offshore.

Puerto Rico residents were told to “evacuate or die” in an early announcement by officials at 3:00 p.m. today.

“Maria’s core is expected to move near or over St. Croix and Puerto Rico tonight and Wednesday, bringing life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts to portions of those islands,” the National Hurricane Center said in a statement.

Hurricane Maria gaining strength with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph as it approaches Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Maria gaining strength with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph as it approaches Puerto Rico. (Photo: NOAA)

A hurricane warning is also in effect for the remainder of the Virgin Islands and the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, where Maria is expected to bring dangerous wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall.

Hurricane Maria is no threat to the City of Sebastian or City of Vero Beach at this time. The concern now is where the storm will make landfall north of Florida.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland. When he was age 9, his parents moved to Jupiter, Florida. Andy spent several years at various radio & television stations in Florida such as WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. In 1994, Andy made a career change to computer programming and worked for several technology companies (two are Fortune 500) in Atlanta, Georgia. However, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2002. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.