Hurricane Maria lashed the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic on Thursday after devastating Puerto Rico.
It was the latest stop in a voyage of destruction across the Caribbean.
The Category 3 storm was blamed for at least 19 deaths. Maria’s next potential target was the Turks and Caicos Islands, which are still recovering from Hurricane Irma.
On Wednesday, Maria barreled through Puerto Rico from end to end, knocking out all the power. It was the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. commonwealth in more than 80 years. Officials said recovery will take months.
Follow along below for live updates on the storm. All times are Eastern unless otherwise noted.
5:15 p.m.: Flash flood warnings continue in portions of Puerto Rico due to persistent heavy rainfall
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) released its latest advisory to report that catastrophic flooding is occurring in Puerto Rico — and everyone on the island should continue to follow advice from local officials to avoid life-threatening flooding conditions.
Hurricane Maria is moving northwest near 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph.
NHC says tropical storm conditions begin to spread over the Turks and Caicos Islands. Maria’s eye will continue to pass offshore of the northern coast of the Dominican Republic this evening and then move near or just east of the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeastern Bahamas tonight and Friday.
Swells from Hurricane Maria are expected to begin reaching the coast of the southeastern United States on Friday which could cause dangerous surf and life-threatening rip currents along the coast for several days even though Maria is forecast to stay well offshore in the western Atlantic Ocean, NHC says.
4:03 p.m.: Puerto Rico surveys extent of Maria’s wrath
Rescuers fanned out to reach stunned victims Thursday after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, knocking out electricity to the entire island and triggering landslides and floods.
The extent of the damage is unknown given that dozens of municipalities remained isolated and without communication after Maria hit the island Wednesday morning as a Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds, the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in over 80 years.
Uprooted trees and widespread flooding blocked many highways and streets across the island of 3.4 million…