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Hurricane Maria, the Strongest Puerto Rico Landfall in 89 Years, Unleashes a Siege ...

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Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, became the strongest Puerto Rico landfalling hurricane since before the Great Depression, and continues to lash the island and the nearby Virgin Islands with destructive winds, flooding rain and storm surge.

(MORE: Hurricane Central | Maria Lashes Dominica With 'Mind-Boggling' Devastation)

Happening Now

The eye of Maria came ashore near the town of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, around 6:15 a.m. AST Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph.

The eyewall of Maria continues to carve through Puerto Rico, passing just south San Juan, lashing the capital with eyewall winds. In advance of the eyewall, the National Weather Service issued a "extreme wind warnings" for several eastern Puerto Rico municipalities. 


Current Storm Status

Here are a sampling of peak wind gusts seen so far in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as of early Wednesday morning. Thanks to NOAA meteorologist Alex Lamers for assistance compiling these peak gusts.

Western St. Croix, Virgin Islands: 137 mph (sustained winds of 106 mph) 

Isla Culebrita: 137 mph

Gurabo: 120 mph (WeatherFlow station)

Camp Santiago: 118 mph

El Negro: 116 mph

Yabucoa: 116 mph (WeatherFlow station)

San Juan: 110 mph (WeatherFlow station)

Arecibo: 108 mph

Fajardo: 100 mph

San Juan (Luis Muñoz Marin Int'l Airport): 95 mph

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands: 86 mph

A storm surge of over 5 feet was recorded by a NOAA tide gauge at Yabucoa Harbor, Puerto Rico, and intense south-southeast winds continue to pile water into the harbor on the east side of Maria's circulation.

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