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Puerto Rico starts assessing hurricane damage

Puerto Rico starts assessing hurricane damage: Travel WeeklyPuerto Rico on Thursday began assessing the full brunt of Hurricane Maria's fury, which has left the island without power, water, cell and wireless services, and working sewage systems.Power could be out for up to six months in some areas, according to Carmen Yulin Cruz, mayor of San Juan.Gov. Ricardo Rossello ordered an island-wide curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Saturday. The entire island is under a flash-flood warning as rivers have overflowed their banks from the deluge of more than two feet of rain since Wednesday.The airports in San Juan, Ponce and Aguadilla are closed, according to the Weather Channel.In San Juan, firefighters began clearing debris off some of the roads so that emergency vehicles can get through to begin rescue operations where needed.The U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue crews are slated to arrive on Friday. The crews and their ships and equipment were forced to leave Puerto Rico before the storm hit."We are going to find our island destroyed," said Abner Gomez, the director of the island's emergency management agency.He told El Nuevo Dia newspaper, "Maria is a system that has destroyed everything in its path."The island of Vieques, eight miles east of Puerto Rico, was lashed with 155 mph winds before Maria moved on to the mainland. Nearby sister island Culebra also took a beating from the wind, high surf and rain.

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