Tropical Storm Maria developed into a tropical storm on Saturday in the western Atlantic Ocean and is bound to morph into a hurricane by Sunday. Areas that are set to be affected include those that were battered by Irma. The Lesser Antilles are expected to be directly affected by it. The storm is currently located about 590 miles southeast of the region and features 50 mph winds. It is moving towards the Caribbean. This is according to the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane And Storm Watches
Some of the areas on Tropical Storm Maria storm watch include St. Lucia, Dominica, Barbados, Martinique, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Regions on hurricane watch include Barbuda, Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, and Guadeloupe. Areas such as the island of Barbuda bore the brunt of Hurricane Irma with about 90 percent of homes being destroyed.
Hurricane Maria is forecasted to cause about six to 12 inches of rainfall in the southern Leeward Islands and up to 20 inches in hardest hit areas by Tuesday. The Lesser Antilles are expected to face dangerous currents and high surf winds.
Hurricane Irma Damage
Hurricane Irma caused a lot of damage in its wake. Millions were displaced, with evacuation orders being issued to over 6.5 million people in Florida alone. Damage costs are expected to exceed $150 billion after analysis. Trailers and mobile homes suffered the most significant damage, leading to significant losses in areas such as Immokalee where most live below the poverty line and use them extensively.
In Chokoloskee and Everglades City, many were forced to leave their homes as flood waters reached 10 feet. Ninety percent of the population was left without electricity and water in the area due to the destruction of power lines and water pipes. In Florida, wildlife displacement prompted a warning from the Florida Department of Health after alligators and snakes were spotted roaming the streets.
Relief efforts have been supported by numerous private individuals and celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Selena Gomez, and Leonardo DiCaprio, who have performed benefit concerts. U.S. Marines were also instrumental in helping evacuate those stranded in some of the devastated Caribbean islands when Irma hit. Moreover, they delivered 52,000 pounds of food and water to victims of the hurricane.
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