In pictures: Hurricane Maria pummels Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico was slammed Wednesday by Hurricane Maria, a powerful Category 4 storm that has already pounded several islands in the Caribbean.

It is the strongest storm to make landfall in Puerto Rico in 85 years. It came ashore with sustained winds of 155 mph, knocking out power to the entire island. Trees were uprooted, homes were destroyed, and there was also widespread flooding.

“This is total devastation,” said Carlos Mercader, a spokesman for Puerto Rico’s governor. “Puerto Rico, in terms of the infrastructure, will not be the same. ... This is something of historic proportions.”

Members of the Army Reserve assist residents of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, on Thursday. Jose Rodrigo Madera for CNN

Toa Baja was evacuated because of flooding. Jose Rodrigo Madera for CNN

Gas cans are piled up in Toa Baja, where gasoline was tough to come by. Jose Rodrigo Madera for CNN

People walk by a collapsed building in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Thursday. Erika P. Rodriguez/The New York Times/Redux

A shack is destroyed in San Juan on Thursday. Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

A bed is exposed to the elements in a storm-damaged home in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Jose Rodrigo Madera for CNN

Power lines are scattered across a road in Humacao on Wednesday. Carlos Giusti/AP

Rescue workers drive through a flooded road in Humacao on Wednesday. Carlos Giusti/AP

A San Juan resident stands outside a wrecked home on Wednesday. Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

A man rescues a rooster from his flooded garage in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday. Ricardo Arduengo/AFP/Getty Images

A San Juan resident dumps buckets of water out of a flooded home on Wednesday. Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

A woman pulls a trash can past a destroyed home in Fajardo on Wednesday. Ricardo Arduengo/AFP/Getty Images

Rescue personnel make preparations before going out to help 19 police officers who were stranded at their flooded station in Humacao on Wednesday. Carlos Giusti/AP

People walk by a damaged sailboat that had washed ashore in Fajardo on Wednesday. Ricardo Arduengo/AFP/Getty Images

Trees are toppled outside the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan on Wednesday. Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

People pray in Humacao before the hurricane made landfall. Jose Rodrigo Madera for CNN

Waves crash in San Juan as the hurricane neared the island on Tuesday. Jose Rodrigo Madera for CNN

Evacuees rest at an emergency shelter in Humacao on Tuesday. Carlos Giusti/AP

More than 500 residents of San Juan take shelter at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum on Tuesday. Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for the Washington Post/Getty Images

The calm before the storm: Humacao resident David Cruz watches the waves on Tuesday. Jose Rodrigo Madera for CNN

Produced by Lyric Lewin, Brett Roegiers, Bernadette Tuazon and Kyle Almond

Top photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images