Hurricane Maria expected to reach Puerto Rico Wednesday morning

As Hurricane Maria continues to grow and strengthen the National Hurricane Center is tracking its progress and projected path. (All times are ET)

2 a.m. Wednesday

Not many changes on Hurricane Maria were announced in the National Hurricane Center’s 2 a.m. update.

The Category 5 storm continued to approach Puerto Rico, with winds slightly lowered to 165 mph.

“The core of potentially catastrophic Category 5 Hurricane Maria expected to reach southeastern Puerto Rico this morning.”

The storm was last recorded as being about 20 miles west-southwest of St. Croix and 85 miles southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

11 p.m. Tuesday

The core of Hurricane Maria is expected to reach the southeastern part of Puerto Rico by Wednesday morning. Currently the hurricane is still nearing St. Croix with wind speeds up to 175 mph.

10 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center says that Maria is expected to start on St. Croix soon. The Meteorological Service of Antigua has discontinued the Hurricane Warning for St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat. The Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch for Anguilla has also been discontinued.

Wind gusts up to 87 mph have been reported in the western portion of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

9 p.m.

Hurricane Maria is said to be approaching St. Croix with wind gusts up to 72 mph. It was recently reported near the eastern portion of St. Croix, according to the National Hurricane Center, close to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Wind speeds are measured up to 175 mph and the storm is said to be located around 60 miles southeast from St. Croix.

8 p.m.

Hurricane Maria barreled toward Puerto Rico on Tuesday night after wreaking widespread devastation on Dominica and leaving the small Caribbean island virtually incommunicado.

As rains began to lash Puerto Rico, Gov. Ricardo Rossello warned that Maria could hit “with a force and violence that we haven’t seen for several generations.”

“We’re going to lose a lot of infrastructure in Puerto Rico,” Rossello said, adding that a likely islandwide power outage and communication blackout could last for days. “We’re going to have to rebuild.”

Authorities warned that people in wooden or flimsy homes should find safe shelter before the storm’s expected arrival Wednesday.

“You have to evacuate. Otherwise, you’re going to die,” said Hector Pesquera, the island’s public safety commissioner. “I don’t know how to make this any clearer.”

The warnings came after Dominica Prime Minister…

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