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Dominica destroyed, Maria intensifies into Category 5 hurricane

Staff Writer |
Hurricane Maria became a Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds as it slammed into the tiny island of Dominica and headed for Puerto Rico.

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A series of Facebook posts by Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit captured the power of Hurricane Maria as it roared past the island as a Category 5 storm.

About 8:45 p.m. Skerrit writes: “The winds are merciless! We shall survive by the grace of God!”

A few minutes later, he writes that he can hear the sound of galvanized steel roofs coming off houses on the small, rugged island in the eastern Caribbean.

He then writes that he believes his home has been damaged. And three words: “Rough! Rough! Rough!”

A half-hour later he says “My roof is gone. I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding.” Seven minutes later he posts that he has been rescued.

Maria was passing just south of Dominica late Monday and into early Tuesday on a path taking it toward Puerto Rico.

The National Hurricane Center called the storm “extremely dangerous.”

“We want to alert the people of Puerto Rico that this is not an event like we’ve ever seen before,” Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told reporters Monday.

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