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Atlantic Hurricane 2018 and Puerto Rico
After the devastation delved out to Puerto Rico during hurricane season 2017, forecasters are keeping a close watch this year for direct impacts to the U.S. territory. Hurricane Maria caused the second largest blackout in history and fatalities ranging between 112 and 4,760 (disputed based on the aftermath deaths caused by complications of the hurricane itself). This was the costliest hurricane that Puerto Rico has ever faced. Hurricane Maria was immediately following Hurricane Irma, which also affected Puerto Rico directly, causing a total of over 130 deaths, directly and indirectly. These 1-2-punch blows caused massive fallout for the Puerto Rican community, who are still rebuilding 8 months later, many of them (approximately 11,000) still without power and having no time frame on when power can be restored.
In light of this fact, the 2018 hurricane season is being scrutinized as closely as possible to be better prepared for how Puerto Rico will be affected. While it’s impossible to predict with any level of certainty, forecasters do not foresee any “direct hits” to Puerto Rico this year. This is more based on statistics than anything else, as there’s no way to guarantee a statement like this; However, keep in mind that the last straightforward strike to Puerto Rico was thanks to Hurricane Irene back in 2011. This is not to say that they are in the clear from any storms at all, but it’s more likely they will experience tropical storm/cyclone impacts than a major impact storm this hurricane season.