Major Hurricane Maria to lash Irma-battered Caribbean islands with flooding, damaging winds

Renee Duff and Kristina Pydynowski – September 18, 2017

Major Hurricane Maria poses a significant threat to Irma-devastated areas in the northern Caribbean into midweek.

On Monday evening, Maria strengthened into a Category 5 hurricane on its way toward the northeastern Caribbean Sea, making it the second Category 5 storm of the season.

Power outages and structural damage are likely. Small craft should remain in port and cruise and cargo ships should avoid the area.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello tweeted that the government is working to finalize plans for Maria.

On Monday morning, Rosello declared a state of emergency after a hurricane warning was issued for the island. He also said that operations at ports would be shut down beginning on Tuesday.