With Hurricane Maria still fresh in the minds of Puerto Ricans, and recovery still underway in many parts of the island, they may have to brace for another storm. A hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning has been issued for Tropical Storm Dorian in Puerto Rico, and the National Hurricane Center has advised Virgin Islands residents to watch the storm, as well. As of 2:00 PM on Tuesday, the storm had winds of 50 miles per hour as it moves through the Windward Islands, and those winds are expected to increase in strength as the storm moves toward Puerto Rico.
According to the Hurricane Center, “Slow strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Dorian is forecast to be near hurricane strength when it moves close to Puerto Rico and eastern Hispaniola.”
The storm is projected to dump three to eight inches of rain on the Windward Islands, with flash floods a distinct possibility. In Puerto Rico, people concerned about power outages and heavy rain are flocking to grocery stores and gas stations to stock up on food, water, and generators. In Puerto Rico, schools closed Tuesday, at least one cruise ship canceled its trip there, and governor Wanda Vasquez declared a state of emergency, but she is urging citizens to remain calm.
“Agency directors have prepared for the last two years,” she said. “The experience of Maria has been a great lesson for everyone.”