Hurricane Maria: Miami-Dade Fire Rescue deployed to Puerto Rico

Some members of the Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue were deployed Tuesday to Puerto Rico ahead of Hurricane Maria.

The “potentially catastrophic’’ storm began sweeping across Puerto Rico as the island braced for what could be the strongest storm to hit there in almost a century. Fire rescue officials will be helping local entities with search and rescue efforts.

Here are some photos of them before they took off:

Hurricane Maria already left Dominica in ruins and is on a course that also will rake St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands overnight — the second direct hit from a Cat 5 hurricane for the American territory in just over a week, according to National Hurricane Center forecasters.