Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and cut power to the entire island - here's what it looks like on the ground

hurricane maria puerto rico

Carlos Giusti/AP

People walk next to a gas station flooded and damaged by the impact of Hurricane Maria in Humacao, Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017.

Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico at 6:15 a.m. on Wednesday as the third-strongest hurricane to ever hit the US.

The direct hit caused widespread destruction.

"The San Juan that we knew yesterday is no longer here," San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz told MSNBC on Wednesday night. The mayor said Puerto Rico, home to some 3.5 million people, is "looking at four to six months without electricity."

Rescue attempts are ongoing and it'll be some time before the full scope of the damage is known, but some early images have begun to emerge.

Here's what it looks like on the ground.

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It will probably take months for Puerto Rico to recover — if not more. "Our town was hit but we will rise," San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz tweeted on Wednesday night. "Thank you for your solidarity."

It will probably take months for Puerto Rico to recover — if not more. "Our town was hit but we will rise," San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz tweeted on Wednesday night. "Thank you for your solidarity."

Source: Twitter

At the height of the storm, Hurricane Maria engulfed the entire 3,515-square-mile island of Puerto Rico.

At the height of the storm, Hurricane Maria engulfed the entire 3,515-square-mile island of Puerto Rico.

The strong winds destroyed many crops, as well, including this banana plantation in Guayama on the southern coast.

The strong winds destroyed many crops, as well, including this banana plantation in Guayama on the southern coast.

Without power, Puerto Ricans have no ability to keep things cool, run life-preserving hospital equipment, or charge phones to communicate. Because power can also keep water running, many were without water on Thursday.

Without power, Puerto Ricans have no ability to keep things cool, run life-preserving hospital equipment, or charge phones to communicate. Because power can also keep water running, many were without water on Thursday.

It could be weeks or months before Puerto Ricans get electricity again. Before Maria hit, nearly 1 million people lost power when Hurricane Irma tore through the island.

It could be weeks or months before Puerto Ricans get electricity again. Before Maria hit, nearly 1 million people lost power when Hurricane Irma tore through the island.

Source: Business Insider

Debris littered the roads, which will have to be cleared before emergency workers can venture further to find people.

Debris littered the roads, which will have to be cleared before emergency workers can venture further to find people.

The storm damaged some emergency vehicles, though, making rescue workers' jobs even harder.

The storm damaged some emergency vehicles, though, making rescue workers' jobs even harder.

Rescue workers spent Thursday navigating through floodwaters and debris to find survivors and bring them to safety.

Rescue workers spent Thursday navigating through floodwaters and debris to find survivors and bring them to safety.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico announced Wednesday afternoon that he was instituting a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico announced Wednesday afternoon that he was instituting a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Thousands of people fled their homes and sought refuge in shelters to wait out the storm.

Thousands of people fled their homes and sought refuge in shelters to wait out the storm.

The storm surge, a term that refers to the waves that blown onshore by a hurricane's strong winds, was expected to reach 6 to 9 feet above normal levels on the coasts.

The storm surge, a term that refers to the waves that blown onshore by a hurricane's strong winds, was expected to reach 6 to 9 feet above normal levels on the coasts.

Over a dozen rivers flooded, some to record levels. Many flood gauges also broke as rivers waters rose 20 to 30 feet in some cases.

Over a dozen rivers flooded, some to record levels. Many flood gauges also broke as rivers waters rose 20 to 30 feet in some cases.

Much of Puerto Rico saw feet of rain. Caguas, in the central eastern part of the island, got 37.74 inches of rain by Thursday morning. Some of the rain gauges lost transmission in the conditions.

Much of Puerto Rico saw feet of rain. Caguas, in the central eastern part of the island, got 37.74 inches of rain by Thursday morning. Some of the rain gauges lost transmission in the conditions.

Miraculously, no deaths have been reported in Puerto Rico so far, though that may change. Hurricane Maria has killed at least 17 people on its journey through the Caribbean.

Miraculously, no deaths have been reported in Puerto Rico so far, though that may change. Hurricane Maria has killed at least 17 people on its journey through the Caribbean.

Cellphone communications failed as towers went down, leaving people waiting to find out if their loved ones were safe.

Cellphone communications failed as towers went down, leaving people waiting to find out if their loved ones were safe.

The National Weather Service measured wind gusts over 200 mph before Maria made landfall. But many wind gauges broke in the strong winds, so we may never know how strong they really were on the island.

The National Weather Service measured wind gusts over 200 mph before Maria made landfall. But many wind gauges broke in the strong winds, so we may never know how strong they really were on the island.

Source: NWS San Diego

Many roofs were ripped off homes, businesses, and other buildings.

Many roofs were ripped off homes, businesses, and other buildings.

The storm's winds knocked down countless power lines, causing outages for 100% of the island.

The storm's winds knocked down countless power lines, causing outages for 100% of the island.

Hurricane Maria made landfall on the southeastern corner of Puerto Rico as a powerful Category 4 storm with 155-mph winds on Wednesday morning.

Hurricane Maria made landfall on the southeastern corner of Puerto Rico as a powerful Category 4 storm with 155-mph winds on Wednesday morning.

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