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AccoladesDomestic policy

Trump pledges support for Puerto Rico in wake of Hurricane Maria

President Trump pledged his support to the people of Puerto Rico and Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Wednesday, as Hurricane Maria left a historic trail of destruction across the U.S. territory.

Maria made landfall early Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane packing 155-mph winds — just 2 mph short of Category 5 status — near the southern city of Yabucoa. But by Wednesday afternoon, the storm had been downgraded to a Category 2, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was continuing its westward march toward the Dominican Republic.

The storm had already devastated Puerto Rico, its powerful winds carving holes in the walls of 300-year-old homes, flooding neighborhoods, sucking metal roofs off buildings, downing 100-year-old trees and leaving the entire island without power.

The White House said in a statement that Trump was continuing to monitor the situation and that he and First Lady Melania Trump “send their thoughts and prayers to all those in harm’s way.”

This post contains reporting from Times staff writers Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Kurtis Lee

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