According to the BBC Hurricane Maria, the devastating storm pushing north-west through the Caribbean, has landed in Puerto Rico.
The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said it arrived in Yabucoa in the east of the US territory, producing winds of 150 mph (250 km/h).
The National Weather Service is forecasting catastrophic damage as Puerto Rico deals with a direct hit from Hurricane Maria Wednesday morning.
Maria made landfall near Yabucoa, Puerto Rico around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, bringing strong wind gusts and heavy rain to the island after carving a path of destruction through the Caribbean, causing at least one death.
The governor delivered a televised message to citizens, warning them of what’s to come.
“Puerto Rico is hours away from being hit by Hurricane Maria, which the experts at the National Weather Service are describing as catastrophic.
We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history,” Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Tuesday.
Hurricane Maria is expected to make landfall two weeks after Irma hit, wiping out power to over 70 percent of the island.
In East Harlem, many residents are worried about loved ones in Puerto Rico.
“They have got generators, they bought a lot of water a lot of canned foods, Pampers,” East Harlem resident Jose Morales said.
Rita Porto worries about her family that lives in a low-lying area.
“The rivers come out and flood everything,” she said.
Residents are collecting donations to send back to Puerto Rico in anticipation of the damage expected.
As people in Puerto Rico prep, others have already evacuated to the hundreds of shelters open across the island.
Some residents and tourists got on the last flights to Florida, hoping to avoid the monster storm altogether.
“Everybody is scared. people are fighting for water,” Sandra Rosario of San Juan, Puerto Rico said. “Everybody just wanted to get on the plane, and people were there all day and all night from the night before just hoping to get standby flights,” tourist Anthony Seecharran said.
The Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph is threatening to decimate the power company’s crumbling infrastructure and force the government to rebuild dozens of communities.