Hurricane Irma hits Puerto Rico as Category 5 after slamming Lesser Antilles (by NBC)

The most powerful Atlantic hurricane in recorded history lashed Puerto Rico on Wednesday night, but veered away from a direct hit.
The National Hurricane Center said that because of the storm's counterclockwise circulation pattern, the island faced hours of pummeling wind and rain overnight from its north, threatening destruction across the economically strained U.S. territory.
Irma, a Category 5 storm, made its first landfall in the Caribbean early Wednesday, killing three and causing flooding and power outages on the islands of Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Martin and St. Barts. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, putting it near the strongest on record.