Currents News Staff
Puerto Rico is still struggling to recover two years after being devastated by Hurricane Maria, and now residents are bracing for another significant storm. In Ponce, Puerto Rico, forecasters expect tropical storm dorian to make landfall on August 28.
The National Hurricane Center predicts that by the time it reaches the island, Dorian will be a category 1 hurricane. With many homes still covered in blue tarp as makeshift roofs, any kind of significant winds or heavy rain could make a devastating impact.
All week, residents have been preparing for what tropical storm Dorian could bring.
“We were caught by surprise with Maria, but now we’re on alert,” said Jose Juan Rivera, a resident of Puerto Rico.
According to Roberto Garcia, a meteorologist from the National Meteorological Service in Puerto Rico, “the whole island including Culebra is going to be under tropical sustained tropical storm winds with higher gusts, gusts that could get to hurricane force winds.”
Potential flooding from heavy rains is also on the radar.
“We are expecting now four to six inches, widespread, with isolated amounts up to eight inches in some areas,” he added.
Although Dorian is expected to be a smaller and less intense storm than Hurricane Maria, authorities warn any impact could put the most vulnerable at risk, including those who still rely on tarps for shelter.
“The ones that have blue tarps. The ones that live in the areas that are flooding, they have to move out to our refuges,” said Maria “Mayita” Melendez, the mayor of Ponce.
The governor of Puerto Rico declared a state of emergency on August 26, warning hospitals and shelters to be at the ready.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has also deployed supplies and incident management assistance teams to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
This comes as residents hope they’ve done enough to prepare
“I’m ready for whatever comes,” said Yolanda Alvarado, who lives in Ponce.
FEMA reportedly has thousands of agents on the ground already, as many are concerned of massive power outages following the storm.