Maria is expected to impact the British Virgin Islands as a Category 3 hurricane tomorrow afternoon, said the Department of Disaster Management (DDM).
“Flooding from heavy rain is possible. Maria is expected to turn into a Category 4 when it impacts Puerto Rico then re-intensify in or north of the Bahamas.”
The latest forecast shows the hurricane near latitude 14.2 north and longitude 58.4 west at a speed of 14 miles per hour, the DDM reported.
The DDM further said the maximum sustained winds of Hurricane Maria has increased to 85 miles per hour with gusts up to 105 mph. The hurricane is forecast to strengthen and become what the DDM describes as a major hurricane when it moves across the Leeward Islands later this evening.
The BVI could get life-threatening floods of six to 12 inches. The DDM said maximum flood waters could rise to a maximum of 20 inches in some isolated areas across the territory.
Governor urges volunteerism for speedy cleanup
While noting that debris from Hurricane Irma could be become projectiles during the passing of Maria, Governor Augustus Jaspert has urged residents to participate in clean-up efforts ahead of the hurricane.
“I encourage you to secure any loose items around property and to also volunteer your services in your community to speed up the debris management and ongoing gut clearing activities. We need all members of the community coming together to assist,” the Governor said.
He added that “fast tracking the gut and debris clearing process is critical.”
Governor Jaspert also told residents to stock up on food and water that will last, at least, for the next three days.
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