Impacts of Hurricane Maria (2017) on Puerto Rico

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Yuh-Lang Lin



Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2019


Hurricane Maria is known as the tenth-most destructive and powerful tropical storm to ever hit the Atlantic. The storm caused calamitous damage to the Dominican Republic and, most famously, Puerto Rico. Originally beginning from an African Easterly wave in the week of September 10th, 2017, Maria developed gradually until reaching tropical storm levels, thereby escalating into a full-blown hurricane, and quickly intensifying into a Category 5 hurricane upon reaching the islands, then down to a Category 4. It progressed for about 3 days, quickly weakening as it made landfall on September 20th, eventually moving towards the Outer Banks of North Carolina, with remnants making their ways to the coast of Ireland and the United Kingdom. The hurricane caused extensive damage to the islands in its cross hairs, accounting for some of the worst tropical damage the United States has ever experienced. Thousands were killed both during and in the aftermath of Maria, there were billions of dollars in damages to roads, schools, and cities, and people went months with no power on the entire island of Puerto Rico. To this day, Puerto Rico and the Dominica, alike, are still reeling from the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Maria.

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