NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The U.S. Navy is helping to evacuate U.S. citizens from the island of Dominica in response to the destruction Hurricane Maria caused last week.

The storm was a devastating Category 4/5 hurricane when it ripped through many islands of the Caribbean, leaving residents devastated.

Many were left without power, running water and cell service.

USA Today reported a total of at least seven deaths last week and officials say the death toll is expected to rise as rescue efforts continue.

The Department of Defense is supporting the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in assisting victims of Hurricane Maria.

On Monday, Dominica's chief of police said the death toll on the island had risen to 27.

USA Today contributed to this report.