Hurricane Maria has already blown through the Caribbean islands of Dominica and Guadeloupe as it heads towards Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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The category 5 storm is bringing with it what the National Weather Service is calling an “extreme” threat to life and property with winds up to 165 mph.
During an interview with FOX Business’ David Asman of ‘After the Bell,’ Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said the island is taking the highest level of precaution.
“Since our administration started about nine months ago, we made sure we had all the protocols in place. We established a working group so that allowed us to work effectively during Irma,” he said.
Puerto Rico is still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and the National Hurricane Center has said the area should prepare for devastated destruction and catastrophic flooding.
The Governor said he expects the entire island of Puerto Rico to be hit by Maria and hopes people in the flooded areas will find their way to space shelters and higher grounds.
“We have concrete built schools. We have certain convention centers and so forth that allows us to have about 500 shelters all along the island. Those have worked in the past and we know they will work today,” Rossello said.
President Trump on Monday approved Puerto Rico emergency declaration which authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.
“I’d like to thank the President for his immediate action both in Irma and right now in Maria. He did authorize an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico that allows us to start executing some protocols and have a better preparation,” Rossello said.
Puerto Rico received relief packages from the U.S. military during the recovering of Irma and will continue to use them post Hurricane Maria.
“The focus right now, making sure people are safe, making sure people get to the shelter and we are about a couple of hours away from receiving the most devastating storm in the modern history of Puerto Rico, Rossello said.
Puerto Rico has not been hit by a category 5 hurricane since 1928.