"We've Never Seen Anything Like This" - Maria Slams Puerto Rico With 9-Foot Storm Surge, 155Mph Winds

Hurricane Maria made landfall near the city of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, at around 6:15 am Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center, battering the densely populated eastern side of the island with torrential rains and 155 mph gusts as hundreds of thousands of people hunkered down in one of the island's 500 storm shelters in hopes of riding out the second major hurricane to impact the island within two weeks.

Category 4 Maria slammed the island with winds of 155 mph, just 2 mph short of category 5 status.

The island's governor has said the hurricane will likely cause "catastrophic" damage to the island's power grid and infrastructure, much of which has yet to be repaired following Hurricane Irma, which didn't make landfall in Puerto Rico, but passed close enough to cause $1 billion in damage. As Bloomberg points out, Maria is the fourth major hurricane and 13th storm in the Atlantic this season that’s wreaked havoc from Texas to the Caribbean and left dozens dead.

According to the NHC, the storm made landfall around 6:15 a.m. The NHC has instituted hurricane watches and warnings for many of Puerto Rico's neighboring islands.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* British Virgin Islands
* Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques
* Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata
* Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Saba
* St. Maarten
* Dominican Republic west of Puerto Plata to the northern border of
the Dominican Republic and Haiti
* Dominican Republic west of Cabo Engano to Punta Palenque
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...
* St. Maarten
* St. Martin and St. Barthelemy
* Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Cabo Engano

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello is saying Maria is "potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit" the U.S. territory in a century. Rossello said up to 25 inches of rain could fall in some areas and he urged anyone in a flood-prone, mudslide-prone or coastal area to leave.

 

 

"We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history," Rossello said. "Although it looks like a direct hit with major damage to Puerto Rico is inevitable, I ask for America’s prayers," he said. "No matter what happens here in the next 36 hours, Puerto Rico will survive, we will rebuild, we will recover and with your support, we will come out stronger than ever."

The NHS expects the storm to cross Puerto Rico on Wednesday and then move just north of the coast of the Dominican Republic later in the night and on Thursday. Maria had earlier battered the hurricane-ravaged Caribbean island nation of Dominica on Tuesday, devastating the island, according to the island's governor, Roosevelt Skerrit.

“It is devastating, indeed, mind boggling,” Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica’s prime minister, said in a statement. The eastern Caribbean nation with a population of 75,000 has “lost all what money can buy and replace,” he said. Skerrit said he was rescued after the roof of his house was torn off by the storm.

At least six people have died on the island of Dominica, according to a spokeswoman for the government in London. “Damage is extensive throughout the island,” she said, “and people are walking the streets in a delirious state of mind.” With all lines of communication down, the government was relying on amateur radio, or ham radio, operators for updates, according to Bloomberg. In addition, at least two have been confirmed dead on the island of Guadalope.

Many Puerto Ricans were busy reinforcing their homes with plywood and other supplies ahead of the anticipated landfall.

 


 

Maria could cause $30 billion in damage to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, according to Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler for Enki Research. The island, which filed for bankruptcy in May after years of economic decline while a series of defaults, has been effectively shut out of capital markets, which could slow the recovery process, Bloomberg reports. Its aging government-owned electric utility operates under court protection from creditors and its emergency fund stood at about $32 million before Irma knocked out electricity access for hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans.

It could plunge “their not-all-that-robust electric grid into a pit of despair,” Watson said.

A dangerous storm surge of as much as 9 feet is expected along the coast of Puerto Rico, and according to NHS data, water levels have already risen precariously.




Meanwhile, vacationers and honeymooners visiting the island confronted a troubling reality earlier this week: With flights quickly filling up ahead of the storm, many tourists found themselves stuck on the island, forced to ride out the hurricane in whatever hotel or accomodations they had booked.

Heather Farrell, a visitor to the island, is on her honeymoon with her husband Luke. They were married on September 9. She says that they had tried to cut their trip short when it became apparent that they were in Maria's firing line.

"We did try to get off, as early as Saturday but all flights were either booked or canceled. We actually are on the ocean -- our room faces the ocean. It's pretty windy but there is no rain. We'll stay inside for now."

 

She said that hotel staff had asked that all guests that are staying at the hotel come downstairs early Wednesday morning to a safe room that they have set up for them.

 

"I would rather be home than here but I guess we're making the best of it," she said.

 

According to CNN, calls for rescue immediately started pouring in. But first responders weren't expected to be able to help immediately because they'd been ordered to head indoors when sustained winds reached 50 mph. Thousands of Puerto Ricans did obey calls to seek refuge in emergency shelters. "As of 2:30 a.m. we count 10,059 refugees and 189 pets (in shelters)," the island's governor, Ricardo Rosselló, tweeted.

Maria became the first category 4 hurricance to hit the island - which presently has a population of about 3.3 million people - in about 80 years. Conditions were expected to worsen between 8 am and 9 am ET Wednesday, when the storm's eye wall - typically the part of the storm with the most powerful winds - is expected to reache island's eastern coast. The Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan - which was still housing Hurricane Irma evacuees from other Caribbean islands - prepared to accept thousands more residents.

The storm is likely to break all previous records, according to CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said.

"This could potentially be the strongest hurricane to ever reach the shores of Puerto Rico," he said from San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital.

 

"A lot of people remember or have heard of the storms that hit in 1928 and 1930. Well, guess what? This could pale those in comparison. ... It will go down in the record books."

According to Bloomberg, most long range models keep Maria away from the US coastline after it passes through the Caribbean and the Bahamas this week, said Shane Mill, a meteorologist at MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. “But I am not comfortable saying the entire East Coast is out of the woods yet,” he said.

Comments

Slack Jack The Sculptor Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:04 Permalink

When the temperatures are higher, hurricanes are (potentially) more powerful. Since hurricanes are formed by the evaporation of sea-water. The warmer the water, the more evaporation and the stronger the hurricane. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that global warming will add to the average strength of hurricanes. The occurrence of hurricanes depends on many factors, in particular the wind shear. So it is not clear that global warming will necessarily increase the number of Hurricanes, although it might.

Record-Setting Hurricanes; Record temperatures; Record-Setting Wildfires; ya think it might be global warming?

THE EVIDENCE OF GLOBAL WARMING IS OVERWHELMING.

So, why is the global rise in temperatures so worrisome?

For one thing, as temperatures rise good farmland will become desert (e.g., dust-bowl conditions will probably return to the American Midwest).

Another major problem is sea-level rise.

Have a look at http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/

The U.S. Geological Survey people claim that;

The Greenland ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 6.55 meters (21.5 feet),
the West Antarctica ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 8.06 meters (26.4 feet),
the East Antarctica ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 64.8 meters (212.6 feet),
and all other ice melting will raise sea-level 0.91 meters (3 feet).

For a grand total of about 80 meters (263 feet).

So, what does an 80 meter (263 feet) rise in sea-level mean. Have a look at the following map of the world after an 80 meter rise. It means that over one billion people will have to be resettled to higher ground and that much of the most productive agricultural land will be under water. Fortunately, at current rates, the Greenland ice sheet will take over a thousand years to melt and the Antarctica ice sheet, much longer. However, the greater the temperature rise the faster the ice sheets will melt, bringing the problem much closer. Remember, the huge ice sheet that recently covered much of North America, almost completely melted in only 15,000 years (today, only the Greenland ice sheet, and some other small patches of it, remain). Since then (15,000 years ago), sea-levels have risen about 125 meters (410 feet), only 80 meters to go.

The ice sheets have been continuously melting for thousands of years. What is left of them today, is still melting, and will continue to melt. Human caused global warning will cause this remnant to melt significantly faster. This is a big, big, problem.

For HUGE detailed maps of the "World after the Melt" go to:

http://preearth.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=23

Global temperatures are increasing. And by quite a lot each year.

2016 is the hottest year on record for global temperatures.

This is 0.0380 degrees centigrade hotter than the previous record year which was 2015.

0.0380 is a large increase in just one year.

2015 was the hottest year (at that time) for global temperatures.

This was 0.1601 degrees hotter than the previous record year which was 2014.

0.1601 is an absolutely huge increase in just one year (at this rate temperatures would increase by 16 degrees in a century).

2014 was the hottest year (at that time) for global temperatures.

This was 0.0402 degrees hotter than the previous record year which was 2010.

http://preearth.net/images/temp-anomalies-1880-2017.txt

The conspiracy to hide global warming data.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is given tax money to make global temperature records available to the public. However, certain people at NOAA continually sabotage this aspect of NOAA's mandate. For example, these people have (deliberately) sabotaged the web-page that delivers the temperature records.

Look for yourself:

Go to the page: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-references/faq/anomalies.php scroll down to the The Global Anomalies and Index Data section and click the download button and see what happens. Well, you get the message:

"Not Found. The requested URL /monitoring-references/faq/anomalies-download was not found on this server."

I guess that the 2017 data must be truly horrible if they have to hide it away.

It turns out that this seems to be the case; NASA reports that:

July 2017 had the hottest average land temperatures on record.

The new July 2017 record was +1.20 degrees centigrade above the 20th century average (of the July data). The previous record average land temperature for July was just last year. It was +1.10 degrees above the 20th century average.

Did the media bother to tell you about this? No!

http://preearth.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=23

They are apparently too frightened to tell you about the August 2017 data. How many months does it take to figure out the averages for August? I guess the August data must be truly truly horrible.

In reply to by The Sculptor

adr general ambivalent Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:43 Permalink

Wow are you incredibly stupid. There is no such thing as a Cat6 hurricane. If they decided to add a Cat 6 and claim the FIRST EVER CAT 6 STORM!!!, they'd have to go back and add a few dozen category 6 storms from the 1900s.There have been far more powerful storms back in the 1950s. In fact since we can now measure hurricanes in the middle of the Atlantic, nearly impossible 70 years ago, the storms may have even been stronger back then. We have no clue how many hurricanes formed in the Atlantic during the 1800s, it may have been worse, may have been better.The major hurricane seasons of the past 17 years pale to the hurricane seasons during the 1940s and 1950s. Of course back then we didn't have Florida and the East Texas coast built up as much as today, for good reason.

In reply to by general ambivalent

moneybots Slack Jack Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:54 Permalink

"I guess that the 2017 data must be truly horrible if they have to hide it away. It turns out that this seems to be the case; NASA reports that: July 2017 had the hottest average land temperatures on record." After the El Nino peak, the land temperature dropped 1 degree C at a record pace. I didn't notice the global warming alarmist media mention that fact.

In reply to by Slack Jack

general ambivalent Mr Pink Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:24 Permalink

Let me get this straight. The made up 'fact' that there were no major hurricanes in ten years was evidence that global warming is fake news. And now that we've had three of the strongest hurricanes in history all in one year - including the first ever Cat. 6 - this is also evidence that global warming is fake news. Am I getting this right?

In reply to by Mr Pink

Iconoclast421 Wed, 09/20/2017 - 08:24 Permalink

Puerto Rico is destined to become another Haiti. A Haiti with a giant pile of debt that will never be repaid, but nor will it ever be cleared off any creditor's balance sheet.

Paul Kersey Iconoclast421 Wed, 09/20/2017 - 08:31 Permalink

Actually, if this storm wipes what's left of the Puerto Ricans off the face of Puerto Rico, don't be surprised if a cartel of international businessmen and resort builders swoop in and buy what's left of the island for pennies on the dollar. If that happens, Puerto Ricans, who might have the desire to move back there, won't have the resources to do so. Puerto Rico won't be Haiti, it will be Fantasy Island.

In reply to by Iconoclast421

land_of_the_few Wed, 09/20/2017 - 08:26 Permalink

TONY (spoken) Maria . . . (sings) The most beautiful sound I ever heard: Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . . All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word . . Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . . Maria! I've just met a girl named Maria, And suddenly that name Will never be the same To me.