storm alert

Hurricane Maria advances towards Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico may take months to restore power

The Category 3 storm lashed the northern coast of the Dominican Republic with heavy rain and winds at 115 mph.

Hurricane Maria regained strength on Thursday morning as it left Puerto Rico and drove closer to the Dominican Republic, The New York Times reported.

The Category 3 storm lashed the northern coast of the island country with heavy rain and winds at 115 mph. Dominican officials said they were concerned about the flooding from the heavy downpour, CNN reported. Airports have been shut down but are expected reopen at noon Thursday.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló said Maria was the “most devastating storm to hit the island this century, if not in modern history”. Restoring power to everyone in the American territory may take months after its energy grid suffered a severe blow from the hurricane, Rosselló told CNN.

The storm, the third to hit the Caribbean islands in a month, has caused strong winds and “catastrophic flooding” in the region. So far, 14 people have been confirmed dead in Dominica, the first island hit by Maria.

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