As of 4 a.m. CDT Tuesday, Hurricane Maria was located about 65 miles west-southwest of Guadeloupe and was moving west-northwest at 9 mph.
A report from the Dominica Prime Minister indicates disaster was widespread on that island as Maria passed over it on Monday night.
The deadly storm hit landfall on the Caribbean island of Dominica in the early hours of this morning. Puerto Rico has only seen one Category 5 hurricane in all its of recorded history, and the last Category 4 hurricane hit the island in 1932. "Interests in these areas should monitor the progress of Maria and follow any advice given by local officials", the warning concludes.
Maria has maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour and is slowly moving to the west-northwest at 9 miles per hour. According to the NHC, the hurricane is stronger than expected, and while it may not make landfall, high winds, rain, and unsafe currents are expected all along the Eastern coast.
Martinique, a French island south of Dominica, suffered power outages but avoided major damage.
Forecasters said the storm would dump up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) of rain across Puerto Rico and whip the US territory with heavy winds for 12 to 24 hours.
Puerto Rico declared a state of emergency on Monday, activating the National Guard to help the island prepare.
Hurricane warnings were posted for the USA and British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Culebra and Vieques.
Army personnel evacuate the Virgin Islands ahead of Hurricane Maria. However, the storm could bring tropical storm conditions to parts of the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England over the next few days. In Puerto Rico, rainfall is estimated to be 12 to 18 inches, with isolated areas receiving 25 inches.
First Coast Storm Experts have their eyes on the tropics and are reminding folks of the First Coast to always remain prepared during hurricane season.
Also in the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose is producing unsafe surf and rip currents along the East Coast of the United States.