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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Latest on Hurricane Maria (all times local):
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the eye of Hurricane Maria is near the Turks and Caicos islands while rains and dangerous high waves are starting to subside along the northern coast of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
As of 5 a.m. EDT, the storm was centered about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east-northeast of Grand Turk Island and is moving northwest at 7 mph (11 kph).
The Category 3 hurricane has maximum sustained winds near 125 mph (205 kph) but gradual weakening is expected during the next two days.
The hurricane has ravaged Puerto Rico and people there face the prospect of going weeks and perhaps months without electricity.
The eye of Hurricane Maria is nearing the Turks and Caicos early Friday as Puerto Rico tries to recover from the storm's devastation.
Two days after Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, flooding towns, crushing homes and killing at least two people, millions on the island face the dispiriting prospect of weeks and perhaps months without electricity. The storm knocked out the entire grid across the U.S. territory of 3.4 million, leaving many without power.
The loss of power has left residents hunting for gas canisters for cooking, collecting rainwater or steeling themselves mentally for the hardships to come in the tropical heat. Some have contemplated leaving the island.