Hurricane Maria strengthens to a Category 5 storm

MIAMI (AP) - Forecasters say Hurricane Maria has become a Category 5 storm as the eye nears Dominica.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Monday evening that Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter planes found that Maria had strengthened into a storm with 160 mph (260 kph) winds.

The hurricane is about 15 miles (25 kilometers) east-southeast of Dominica and moving west-northwest at 9 mph (15 kph).