Initial reports from Puerto Rico indicate that Hurricane
Maria inflicted massive damage on the island with high winds, storm surge and
hours of relentless rain.
Maria landed near Yabucoa on Puerto Rico's southeastern
coast on Wednesday at 6:15 a.m. as a Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds,
beginning a 10-hour siege. The entire island is without power and water. No
sewage systems are operating. Wireless and cell services are down.
Estimates for the resumption of island-wide power service
range from four to six months, according to Carmen Yulin Cruz, mayor of San
"Half of San Juan is flooded and the roads are all
blocked. We have to clean the debris -- trees, limbs, broken lampposts, power
lines -- before rescue vehicles can begin their work," she said in a live
report on the Weather Channel.
"The devastation is overwhelming, but we will stand up
again," she said.
Thousands of people sought refuge in more than 500 shelters
overnight. The roof at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan began leaking
during the night and people had to be moved to shelter under the facility's