Hurricane Maria weakens further as it batters Puerto Rico

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Hurricane Maria remains a risky Category 5 storm, but its potential impact on the United States is becoming clearer with each new update.

Maria had sustained winds of 155 miles per hour - very close to a Category 5 storm - and gusts were higher, the center said.

The center said it was expected to remain an "extremely dangerous" category 4 or 5 hurricane when it passes near or over the Virgin Islands overnight, and Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

The storm ripped off the roofs of houses as it pummeled the island as an extremely risky Category 5 storm, according to The National Hurricane Center.

The US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said Maria had regained strength, with sustained winds of up to 160mph, as it approached the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday night to say, "Be careful, our hearts are with you".

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, and Anguilla.

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Fox 61 meteorologist Matt Scott said Jose behaved as expected and the impact was minimal.

Hurricane Maria is expected to make landfall two weeks after Irma hit, wiping out power to over 70 percent of the island.

Judi Buckley, former senator for St Croix Island, traveled to St John from her SC home to help with the Irma relief effort - only to get caught up in Maria.

North of Dominica, Hurricane Maria also hit the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe hard.

"It's going to come down again", he said. Earlier this week Maria devastated the tiny nation of Dominica, prompting the prime minister to report on Facebook, "Initial reports are of widespread devastation".

"I'm not sure that Category 5 is one that any of us are prepared for", Trinidad said. It just missed the worst of Irma, which scraped along its north shore, but an estimated 1 million people lost electricity because of its fragile power infrastructure.

The National Hurricane Center forecast cone that we show on WECT products is the official and best resource for storm intensity and track information. "She starts crying and I start crying".

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