Hurricane Maria Makes Landfall in Dominica as Other Islands Brace for Potential Disaster

On Monday, she was bracing for Hurricane Maria, which was heading straight for the island that she and hundreds of others had escaped to for sanctuary, Guadeloupe.

“This year we are cursed,” Ms. Guyard, 28, said after a morning of last-minute grocery shopping as the hurricane approached. “When will we be able to breathe again? When will all of the hurricanes stop?”

Some islands still reeling from the impact of Hurricane Irma were bracing late Monday for Round 2, closing schools, stores and just about everything else before the storm made landfall.

More than two dozen people were killed by Irma, and on Monday emergency shelters were beginning to fill up on Guadeloupe, Dominica and Montserrat, as well as on the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. Those who chose to stay home were busy boarding up their houses, trimming trees or gathering stockpiles of food and water.

Karine Fleury, 47, a psychologist in Martinique, which was also expected to be hit by Maria, said she found out about the storm only on Sunday while shopping for groceries. After that, it was a race to prepare herself — both physically and mentally — for the storm’s landing.

“I know it’s going to be impressive during the storm,” she said. “And when we go out for the first time afterward, seeing the fallen trees and the damage, it’s always scary.”

Though Maria is expected to trace a similar path to Hurricane Irma, some of the islands hit hardest by that storm may be spared. Instead, having escaped the wrath of Irma, Guadeloupe and Dominica were expected to bear the initial brunt of Maria.

But the already storm-battered islands could be affected in other ways. In addition to being the main sanctuary for those evacuating St. Martin, Guadeloupe has also become the staging ground for the relief effort. If the storm hits hard, it could delay or upend the desperately needed aid going to its neighbor.


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