Tropical Storm Jose: Path takes weaker storm over cooler water

The rear view of the hurricane-struck house on St. John's that sheltered Karmen Lewis of Detroit Lakes

After hitting Puerto Rico, the storm will begin to turn north and is expected to come near the Dominican Republic Wednesday afternoon, potentially with winds over 100 miles per hour.

The storm is expected to bring up to 25 inches of rain to Puerto Rico and some 16 inches to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The governor delivered a televised message to citizens, warning them of what's to come.

"This is going to be an extremely violent phenomenon", Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told the Associated Press this week. More than 4,400 people were in shelters by late Tuesday, Rosello said.

"Definitely glad I made it out", one traveler said.

More than 500 shelters had been opened, according to the governor's office, though it could not vouch for the storm-worthiness of all of those structures, the New York Times reported.

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The National Weather Service said Puerto Rico's capital and largest city San Juan will experience winds of 185km/h and higher for the next two-to-three hours.

"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.

"Because hurricane preparedness activities become hard once winds reach tropical storm force (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph), the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds to allow for important preparation", it says. "I fear what we will see during the daylight hours from Dominica and Guadeloupe". "Most of the island is without power. or water".

Before hitting Puerto Rico, Maria ripped off roofs and downed trees as it passed west of St. Croix, home to about half of the U.S. Virgin Islands' 103,000 residents, as a rare Category 5 storm, the top of the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

Maria is the second maximum-strength hurricane to hit the Caribbean in a month. It's still too early to determine at this time whether Maria will directly impact the East Coast of the US next week. Hurricane Maria is forecasted to be a direct hit on the island.

Maria killed two people in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and two people aboard a boat were reported missing off La Desirade island, just east of Guadeloupe, officials said. "I am completely at the mercy of the hurricane". So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace.

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