Carrying winds gusting to 160 mph, Hurricane Luis roared west Monday toward the Caribbean, where nervous islanders boarded up buildings and frightened tourists jammed airports trying to escape.
The 700-mile-wide storm, with sustained winds of 140 mph, could be the most destructive storm in the Caribbean in a half-century - even worse than Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
Late Monday the storm’s center was about 70 miles northeast of Guadeloupe and 70 miles east of Antigua. Hurricane watches were posted from Dominica to Puerto Rico.
“We are planning as if the storm is going to directly strike the island,” Puerto Rico’s Gov. Pedro Rossello said. “We want to minimize the possibility of loss of life.”
The National Weather Service said Luis would probably reach the Virgin Islands midday today and Puerto Rico by this evening.