Hurricane Maria grows into a Category 5 storm and makes landfall in the storm-battered Caribbean – Los Angeles Times

Hurricane Maria, a dangerous Category 5 storm, reached the island of Dominica in the eastern Caribbean on Monday night with sustained winds of 160 mph, forecasters said.

It was expected to deliver destructive waves, a storm surge of up to 9 feet, flooding and mudslides along a path that the National Hurricane Center said includes Guadeloupe, the Leeward Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

The storm was moving northwest at 9 mph Monday night as it struck Dominica, a nation of roughly 74,000 people located less than 400 miles southeast of Puerto Rico. Landfall there was expected as soon as late Tuesday.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello declared a state of emergency Monday, activated the National Guard and closed all schools.

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