Puerto Rico was spared from Dorian but Florida could see the full wrath of the storm

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People gather at the coast in Patillas, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday as Dorian neared

Humacao, Puerto Rico (CNN) – Puerto Rico was spared from the strong winds and rains of Hurricane Dorian on Wednesday, as the storm stayed predominantly to the east over the British and U.S. Virgin Islands.

One man died after falling from the roof of his house while cleaning a drain in preparation for Dorian, officials said.

Schools and airports were closed across the territory in preparation for the storm, but Dorian’s path luckily stayed further east.

Moderate to heavy showers fell across parts of the US territory — its sparsely populated island of Culebra generally received the most, with around 5 inches. Some regions received a half-inch to 2 inches of rain.

Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced said no major damage was reported.

“I am proud of our Puerto Rican community, because once again they showed discipline, preparation and respect towards all the orders given to them for their protection,” she said.

By 7 p.m. Wednesday, the peak wind gust recorded in the capital, San Juan, was 34 mph.

Fears that Dorian would strain Puerto Rico’s fragile infrastructure, battered by 2017’s deadly Hurricane Maria, were largely unrealized. But with the memory of Maria looming large in the island’s psyche, many residents took the threat seriously.

“Thankfully, I’ve been preparing since May,” said Krystle Rivera, whose family had been stocking up on water, canned food, and gas in anticipation of the hurricane season.

Dorian continues to strengthen rapidly in the open Atlantic as it moves generally west-northwest. The storm is expected to intensify into a major hurricane and possibly impact the state of Florida as a Category 4 hurricane.

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