Thousands Shelter As Puerto Rico Gets Direct Hit From Hurricane Maria

"SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Thousands of Puerto Ricans heeded the calls of government officials and have taken refuge in shelters as the Caribbean island braces for Hurricane Maria's direct hit early Wednesday.

"As of 2:30 a.m. we count 10,059 refugees and 189 pets (in shelters)," the island's governor, Ricardo Rosselló, wrote in a tweet. On Tuesday, he called Maria an "unprecedented" atmospheric system.

The record-breaking Category 4 hurricane -- with sustained winds of 155 mph (250 kph) --is the first storm of its strength to hit the US territory in nearly 80 years."

Euan McKirdy and Jaide Timm-Garcia report for CNN September 20, 2017.

Source: CNN, 09/20/2017