The Category 4 storm made landfall with winds of 155 miles per hour, breaking two National Weather Service radars. It is the first Category 4 storm to hit the island — which has a population of 3.5 million — since 1932. The Weather Service has described storm surges reaching up to nine feet above land at the coast.
This is the third hurricane to hit the Caribbean islands in the past couple of weeks, after Hurricanes Irma and Jose. Speaking on CNN, Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló said that the US territory had been prepared for Irma, but the damage from this storm is expected to be much worse. As of 2:30AM, there were already at least 10,000 refugees in shelters.
A las 2:30AM, contamos con 10,059 refugiados y 189 mascotas.— Ricardo Rossello (@ricardorossello) September 20, 2017
Emergency crews are not responding because they won’t go outside if winds are greater than 50 miles per hour.
"This is total devastation," said Rossello’s spokesperson Carlos Mercader. "Puerto Rico, in terms of the infrastructure, will not be the same. ... This is something of historic proportions."