Category 5 Maria headed for same islands hit by Irma

Hurricane Maria track 5 pm Monday

Puerto Rico is bracing for a hit from Hurricane Maria.

Hurricane Maria grew into an extremely dangerous Category 5 storm Monday as it barreled toward a potentially devastating collision with islands in the eastern Caribbean, and forecasters warned it was likely to become even stronger.

The storm's eye was expected to pass near Dominica later in the day on a path that would take it near many of the islands already wrecked by Hurricane Irma and then on toward a possible direct strike on Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

"This storm promises to be catastrophic for our island," said Ernesto Morales with the U.S. National Weather Service in San Juan. "All of Puerto Rico will experience hurricane force winds."

People are hitting the stores to buy supplies to ride out the storm. In San Juan, people are picking up plywood at Home Depot. Lines at gas stations are long as drivers try to fuel up.

Grocery stores are busy as well as residents stock up on non-perishables ahead of Hurricane Maria.

Severe Weather Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Glenn Burns is tracking the storm and will have the updated track throughout the day on Channel 2 Action News and wsbtv.com.


Many people are still sleeping in shelters following Hurricane Irma which destroyed homes and left parts of the island without power.

The U.S. territory imposed rationing of basic supplies including water, milk, baby formula, canned food, batteries and flashlights.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Maria had maximum sustained winds of 160 mph in late afternoon. It was centered about 35 miles northeast of Martinique and 45 miles east-southeast of Dominica, and was heading west-northwest at 9 mph.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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