SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Hurricane Maria is now approaching the northern coast of Puerto Rico as destructive winds and flooding are continuing.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says the eye of the Category 4 major hurricane is now located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of San Juan, the capital. Maximum sustained winds are 140 mph (220 kph) and the storm is moving to the northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).
The Miami-based hurricane center says little change in strength is expected in the coming 48 hours as Maria remains a dangerous major hurricane. It says tropical storm conditions are expected to begin in the Dominican Republica this afternoon with hurricane conditions starting there later Wednesday night. Forecasters say the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas will see worsening conditions Thursday morning with the expected arrival of hurricane winds Thursday evening.