Sep 21, 2017

"Devastating" Hurricane Maria intensifies

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

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 838,061 — Total deaths: 41,261 — Total recoveries: 174,115.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 177,452 — Total deaths: 3,440 — Total recoveries: 6,038.
  3. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with other health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  4. Federal government latest: The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.
  5. In Congress: New York Rep. Max Rose deploys to National Guard to help coronavirus response.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Misinformation in the coronavirus age.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

U.S. coronavirus updates: White House studies models projecting virus peak

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.

The state of play: The coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S. in two weeks, but many states like Virginia and Maryland will see their individual peaks well after that, according to a model by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes two-minute antibody testing kit to detect coronavirus

Currently, it takes days to produce results from testing kits. Photo: Sergei Malgavko\TASS via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency approval Tuesday for a serological testing kit produced by Bodysphere Inc. that can detect a positive or negative result for COVID-19 in two minutes.

Why it matters: Access to testing has improved in the U.S. thanks to commercial labs, but the average wait time for a patient's results is four to five days — with some reports of it taking more than a week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health