SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Hurricane Maria made landfall Wednesday morning near Yabucoa Puerto Rico.
Geostationary satellite images and surface observations indicate that the center of Hurricane Maria made landfall near Yabucoa,Puerto Rico, around 6:15 a.m. EDT.
Maria had weakened to a Category 4 storm as it closed in on Puerto Rico but remains a dangerous hurricane that threatens to decimate the power company's crumbling infrastructure and force the government to rebuild dozens of communities.
Maria's maximum sustained winds Wednesday morning were near 155 mph and the U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm should keep that intensity until it makes landfall.
Zinc roofs were already flying and windows were breaking as Maria approached Puerto Rico before dawn, with nearly 900,000 people without power and one tree falling on an ambulance.
Those who sought shelter at a coliseum in San Juan were moved to the building's second and third floors, reported radio station WKAQ 580 AM. The storm was moving across Puerto Rico on Wednesday morning at 10 mph, with a gust of 113 mph reported in the capital of San Juan, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Puerto Rico had long been spared from a direct hit by hurricanes that tend to veer north or south of the island. The last Category 4 hurricane landfall in Puerto Rico occurred in 1932, and the strongest storm to ever hit the island was San Felipe in 1928 with winds of 160 mph.