Nearly two years after Hurricane Maria devastated the island U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, residents on the island need to be alert for another tropical threat.
Puerto Rico is within the projected path of Tropical Storm Dorian, and could face a direct strike from the storm. As of 5 p.m. ET Monday, Dorian was located 60 miles SE of Barbados.
Dorian had top sustained winds of 60 MPH as of 5 p.m. ET, but is projected to become a hurricane on Tuesday. The system is expected to approach Puerto Rico as a hurricane on Wednesday.
A Tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours, the National Hurricane Center said.
A hurricane watch was issued for St. Lucia; tropical storm warnings were issued for Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and tropical storm watches were issued for Puerto Rico, Dominica; Grenada and its dependencies and Saba and St. Eustatius.
Dorian could be a major test for Puerto Rico even if it is not nearly as powerful as Hurricane Maria, which was a Category 4 hurricane as it bulldozed Puerto Rico in 2017. Maria knocked out power for months, caused significant disruption in food and medical supplies, and was responsible for many deaths -- although authorities struggled to come up with a reliable count of fatalities.