Power lines lay toppled on the road after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico Wednesday. Photo: Carlos Giusti / AP

Hurricane Maria continued to dump torrential rain on Puerto Rico Thursday morning as it regained strength and marched toward the Dominican Republic. The Category 3 storm, with winds up to 115 mph, is expected to strengthen further as it travels over warm waters today toward Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas.

In Puerto Rico, electricity has been knocked out across the entire island, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló warned that restoring power to could take months. "[Maria is] the most devastating storm to hit the island this century, if not in modern history," said Rosselló.

Live updates:

  • New York is sending dozens of firefights and cops to assist in search and rescue, as well as eight to ten people that are part of an Office of Emergency Management team to help San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, per the New York Daily News.
  • Forecasters say Puerto Rico will see roughly two feet of rain by Friday. Meanwhile, storm surges are expected to raise water levels as much as six feet in the Dominican Republic, per the NYT.
  • President Trump signed a disaster declaration for Puerto Rico early Thursday morning, and said he plans to visit Puerto Rico soon. Late Wednesday night he tweeted: "Governor @RicardoRossello- We are with you and the people of Puerto Rico. Stay safe! #PRStrong."
  • Gov. Rosselló has declared a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew from Wednesday to Saturday. "The damage is very extensive," he told CNN Wednesday. "It is nothing short of a major disaster."
  • Prime minister of Dominica says at least 15 people are dead, and 20 are missing on the island, per AP.

Go deeper

In photos: Thousands evacuated as Southern California fire grows

A plane makes a retardant drop on a ridge at the Apple Fire north of Banning in Riverside County, which "doubled in size" Saturday, per KTLA. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A massive wildfire that prompted mandatory evacuations in Southern California over the weekend burned 26,450 acres and was 5% contained by Monday afternoon, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The big picture: As California remains an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., some 15 separate fires are raging across the state. About 7,800 people were under evacuation orders from the Apple Fire, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, as hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze. CalFire said Monday that a malfunction involving a "diesel-fueled vehicle emitting burning carbon from the exhaust system" started the Apple Fire.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 18,178,736 — Total deaths: 691,111 — Total recoveries — 10,835,789Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 4,698,335 — Total deaths: 155,331 — Total recoveries: 1,468,689 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

Twitter faces FTC fine of up to $250 million over alleged privacy violations

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket

The Federal Trade Commission has accused Twitter of using phone numbers and emails from its users to make targeted ads between 2013 and 2019, Twitter said in an SEC filing published Monday.

Why it matters: Twitter estimates that the FTC's draft complaint, which was sent a few days after its Q2 earnings report, could cost the company between $150 million and $250 million. The complaint is unrelated to the recent Twitter hack involving a bitcoin scam.