As feared, Hurricane Maria rapidly strengthened Monday as it took aim at Puerto Rico and islands left in ruins by Hurricane Irma.

Maria intensified to a Category 3 hurricane, hurling maximum sustained winds of 120 mph. The mammoth storm nearly doubled in strength over the past 24 hours and is expected to keep growing before it makes landfall.
As of 11 a.m. ET, Maria was centered about 60 miles (95 kilometers) east of Martinique. Its first landfall is expected around 8 p.m. ET in the northeast Caribbean’s Leeward Islands — specifically Dominica and Martinique.
Hurricane Maria track
And for the first time in 85 years, Puerto Rico is expected to suffer a direct landfall from a Category 4 hurricane. Puerto Rico’s governor has declared a state of emergency ahead of that landfall, which will likely happen Wednesday.
“It’s time to wrap up your preparations now, Puerto Rico,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

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