Spared by Dorian, Puerto Rico reopens schools, airports

US territory had feared much more fallout

By Jason Hanna, Omar Jimenez and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

(CNN) - Hurricane Dorian spared Puerto Rico of its worst winds and rains on Wednesday, as it largely steered clear of the U.S. territory while it battered the British and Virgin Islands instead.

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

But as for the storm itself, Puerto Rico had feared much more fallout. Schools and airports were closed across the territory, but Dorian's path went further east than anticipated.

Moderate to heavy showers fell across parts of the U.S. 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.

No major damage was reported, Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced said.

"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 -- well below what was forecast.

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.

CNN's Omar Jimenez reported from Puerto Rico. Jason Hanna and Emanuella Grinberg wrote from Atlanta. Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.

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