MANHATTAN – Hurricane Maria has weakened to a Category 4 storm as it closes in on Puerto Rico but remains a dangerous hurricane that threatens to decimate the power company's crumbling infrastructure and forces the government to rebuild dozens of communities.
Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico Wednesday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The major hurricane slammed Yabucoa at 6:35 a.m., and was last reported to be a Category 4 with maximum sustained winds near 155 mph, just shy of a Category 5 storm, which has 156 mph winds.
Winds and heavy rains will beat this already beleaguered island for the next 12 - 24 hours.
Conditions have been described as deadly.
People are focused on Hurricane Maria and are concerned about family members in Puerto Rico. “We haven’t been able to get in touch for three days. It’s crazy,” said Daniel Grajales of East Harlem told PIX11 News . “All we can do is wait and see and pray,” said Carlos Abarcua, who last spoke to his father on Tuesday.
NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito also has family in Puerto Rico and has voiced her concern for the island.
“Damage is already happening at our home in Guaynabo and at the apartment of a dear friend in Condado. And it’s only beginning. Imagining the rest,” Mark-Viverito tweeted out.
The NYC Council Speaker told PIX11 News she is trying to coordinate additional support with Mayor de Blasio for Puerto Rico during their time of need.
Maria could be the strongest hurricane to ever hit the U.S. territory, which was just wrecked by Hurricane Irma two weeks ago.
This is the first Category 4 hurricane to directly hit the island since 1932, CNN reports.