An 80-year-old man died in Puerto Rico when he fell off a ladder preparing his home for hurricane Dorian, authorities said Wednesday. The storm hit Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Wednesday because, according to forecasters, a Category 3 hurricane could have surfaced in Florida this weekend.
A police spokesman in Bayamón confirmed to NBC News that a person had died in connection with Dorian. The police told Telemundo PR, NBC News' subsidiary in San Juan, that in preparation for the storm, the man climbed a ladder to clear the sewers in his home as he slipped and suffered a fatal head injury.
] Dorian hit a hurricane near St. Thomas Island on the US Virgin Islands Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center. There were several observations of hurricane force winds in St. Thomas, according to the hurricane center. An elevated weather station on Buck Island, south of St. Thomas, reported persistent winds of 1
It was expected that the storm would continue near or beyond the US and the British Virgin Islands in the next few hours Wednesday and then across the Atlantic Ocean east of the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday and Friday, the Hurricane Center said at 17.00 Wednesday.
The hurricane center said Dorian was gradually moving away from the northeastern Caribbean Sea and was expected to become "a dangerous hurricane in the western Atlantic Ocean".
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared Wednesday afternoon a state of emergency.
"It is important for Floridians on the East Coast to closely monitor this storm," he said in a statement. "Every Florida resident should be provided with food, water and medicines for seven days and have a disaster plan."
The Hurricane Center predicted that the storm would continue to intensify and become a dangerous category 3 hurricane 72 hours and in that intensity until landing.
"There is every indication that this Labor Day weekend is a major hurricane near or over the Florida Peninsula," the center said.
Southeastern United States expected
Earlier, US Federal Reserve Governor Albert Bryan Jr., a nationwide curfew, had set a curfew until 6 am on Thursday by the Territorial Emergency Management Agency of the US Virgin Islands. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were hurricane warnings for the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands and the island communities of Viequ in Puerto Rico and Culebra. Puerto Rico was hit by a hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning.
The Weather Center reported hurricane conditions in parts of the US Virgin Islands and said they were expected to arrive in Vieques, Culebra and the British Virgin Islands on Wednesday. On Wednesday afternoon and at night, tropical storm conditions were predicted on the mainland of Puerto Rico.
According to the Hurricane Center, rainfall could lead to "life-threatening flash floods" in which the maximum sustained wind speed of the storm increased to almost 100 km / h at higher gusts.
The center did not publish any information on potential landings on the Virgin Islands, and since it did not appear to land on the main island of Puerto Rico, the next landing could be in the Bahamas or the US southeast coast United States.
Download the NBC News App to Receive Recent News
The storm continued farther north than predicted by most predictions and could pass Puerto Rico in the East, which dramatically increases the likelihood of landing in the southeastern United States, Brian McNoldy, Senior Research Associate at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, wrote.
But the storm could test Puerto Rico's grid two years after the extinction of Hurricane Maria across the island and the death of thousands of people. In some areas, the power supply was fully restored only one year later.
The island rained heavily on Wednesday as conditions worsened. The worst was expected from Wednesday afternoon until early Thursday before the storm stops.
Gov. Wanda Vázquez said during a press conference on Wednesday that the Eye of the Storm would wander over the island of Culebra.
"This means that everyone in their homes should be in the shelters," she said.
"This is not Maria," Vázquez said, adding, "We need to protect ourselves from the rain."
Late Tuesday, President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico that would allow the federal agencies to remedy the disaster to coordinate.
But on Wednesday morning, the president had this message for the US territory: "Puerto Rico is one of the most corrupt places in the world, its political system is broken and its politicians are either incompetent or corrupt" he tweeted . "Congress approved billions of dollars last time, more than any other place ever, and it's sent to Crooked Pols, not good!"
Trump has repeated the false claim that Congress has sent $ 92 billion in aid to Puerto Rico. Congress has provided US $ 42.5 billion in disaster relief in Puerto Rico, but the island had received less than US $ 14 billion by May.
Trump then said he was " the best that ever happened to Puerto Rico!"
The previous Wednesday, Trump followed Dorian " on his way to Puerto Rico .
Trump then defended the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which was widely criticized after Maria in September 2017 and addressed a regular criticism of his mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz.
"FEMA and everyone else is ready and will do a great job, and if they do, let them know and say a big thank you – Not like last time," Trump tweeted. "That includes the incompetent mayor of San Juan!"
In San Juan, volunteers went door to door to make sure the residents were prepared. Many houses on the island are still covered with blue tarpaulins by Maria.
In San Juan, Gina Mendoza collected her dog Susie and other necessities as she prepared to go to a shelter on Wednesday.
"It's terrible." Said Mendoza. "It's the last thing you want to do is leave your home."