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Maria: Another disaster waiting to happen in Florida



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Still smarting up from Hurricane Harvey and Irma that devastated some cities and other Caribbean cities, another Hurricane, Maria, may be heading towards the United States coast.

Recall that two weeks ago, Hurricane Irma swept across Florida, destroying homes and rendering over hundred thousand people homeless barely few days after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, spreading to Houston.

Hurricane Maria officially became a hurricane late Sunday afternoon, taking aim at already battered islands in the Caribbean amid growing concerns that Florida again could become a target.

The hurricane is forecast to rapidly strengthen over the next two days as it takes aim at Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma just days ago.

The storm is expected to be a major hurricane when it hits the Leeward Islands over the next few days, intensifying to a Category 4 hurricane in 48 hours.

As of Sunday at 11 p.m. ET, Maria was about 100 miles (165 kilometers) northeast of Barbados and about 210 miles (340 kilometers) east-southeast of Dominica, the center said. It had strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 85 mph, and is forecast to continue moving toward the eastern Caribbean at 13 mph.

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Maria is one of three storms churning in the Atlantic Ocean and the seventh of the 2017 season, but it poses the most danger to the hurricane-battered Caribbean.

Maria has prompted a hurricane warning for Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Maria is likely to affect the British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by mid-week as a dangerous major hurricane,” the NHC said.

Meanwhile, another Hurricane, Jose, is maintaining its intensity as it churns north, threatening “dangerous surf and rip currents” along the US East Coast in the next few days, the hurricane center said.

Late Sunday, the Category 1 hurricane was about 305 miles (490 kilometers) southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and moving north at 9 mph.

While the center of Jose is expected to stay off from the US East Coast, “swells generated by Jose are affecting Bermuda, the Bahamas, and much of the US east coast,” the NHC said.

The hurricane center said that Jose would produce heavy rain as it passes near southern New England and the mid-Atlantic on Tuesday and Wednesday, but that based on current forecasting the risk of flooding would be “limited in scope.”