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Tropical Storm Dorian bore down on Puerto Rico Wednesday as residents braced for a direct hit, the first since the island was ravaged two years ago by Hurricane Maria.
US forecasters said they expected Dorian to make landfall in populous eastern Puerto Rico at near hurricane strength later in the day. A hurricane watch also was up for the US Virgin Islands.
Path - Trajectory - Atlantic - Coast - Florida
The latest path also puts Dorian on a trajectory to strike the Atlantic coast of Florida by the weekend, with few obstacles to weaken it after Puerto Rico.
President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico, which is a US territory, authorizing federal assistance to local authorities even as he grumbled on Twitter about their response to Maria.
Storm - Dorian - Puerto - Rico - FEMA
"We are tracking closely tropical storm Dorian as it heads, as usual, to Puerto Rico. FEMA and all others are ready, and will do a great job," he tweeted.
"When they do, let them know it, and give them a big Thank You - Not like last time. That includes from the incompetent Mayor of San Juan!"
Maria - Category - Hurricane - Island - Power
Maria, a Category 4 hurricane, shattered the island's already shaky power grid, overwhelmed public services and left many residents without a roof over their heads.
A study accepted as valid by the government, which initially put the death toll at 64, estimated that nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the hurricane and the months of disruption that followed.
Maria - Test - Island - Recovery
Dorian, though far less powerful than Maria, looms as the first major test of the island's halting recovery.
As of 1200 GMT, the storm was 60 miles southeast of St Croix, packing 60-mile-an-hour (95-kilometer) winds as it churned toward the US Virgin Islands...
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