Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico as a Category 5 storm Wednesday, lashing the island with wind and rain as the strongest storm to make landfall in the region in 85 years. Maria brought winds of up to 155 mph as it moved northwest through the Caribbean.

The storm was expected to churn through Puerto Rico for up to 24 hours. After that, it could make its way to the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Though it would likely brush by and not make a direct hit, both places could be impacted by Maria late Wednesday and into Thursday, according to AccuWeather. The Dominican Republic would likely feel the worst of the impact, though the entirety of the island would experience rain, damaging wind and treacherous surf.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect for Haiti, while most of the Dominican Republic was under a hurricane watch. The Dominican Republic could experience water levels rising by as much as six feet, while portions of Haiti could see storm surges of up to three feet, the Weather Channel reported.

Maria could bring storm conditions to Turks and Caicos and the southeast Bahamas by Thursday morning. Both areas could see rainfall of up to 20 inches in certain areas.

The storm was moving northwest about 12 mph Wednesday afternoon. It remained unclear what path Maria would take after making its way past Turks and Caicos. It is still too early to determine whether the continental United States would be impacted by the storm. Most forecasts showed it turning north into the Atlantic Ocean without making landfall in the U.S.

Authorities have already begun assessing the damage in areas where the storm had already hit. Seven people were killed by the hurricane on the island of Dominica. Initial photos out of St. Croix and Vieques showed downed trees and other similar damage, while reports out of Puerto Rico told of heavy destruction.

“This is total devastation,” said Carlos Mercader, a spokesman for Puerto Rico’s governor, according to CNN. “Puerto Rico, in terms of the infrastructure, will not be the same. This is something of historic proportions.”

RTX3H5HL People walk on the street next to debris after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Guayama, Puerto Rico, Sep. 20, 2017. Photo: Reuters