Hurricane Irma makes landfall at Maho Beach in St. Maarten. The eye of the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane on record churned along a path toward Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly heading for Florida over the weekend.
The eye of Hurricane Irma passed over Barbuda around 1:47 a.m. local time, the National Weather Service said. Residents said over radio that phone lines went down. Heavy rain and howling winds raked the neighboring island of Antigua, sending debris flying as people huddled in their homes or government shelters.
Officials warned people to seek protection from Irma's "onslaught" in a statement that closed with: "May God protect us all."