Hurricane Joaquin could bring great destruction to the east coast this weekend. Even if is never makes landfall, the rainfall, flooding and wind, with gusts reaching between 75 and 100 mph on some of the islands, will be devastating.
States of emergencies have already been issued for North Carolina, New Jersey and Virginia. Lives and property in the Bahamas are being threatened into Friday.
Joaquin will move northward much of this weekend, roughly paralleling the East coast. There is nearly equal possibility the storm will make landfall along the mid-Atlantic coast, the New England coast or veer out to sea.
Due to the potential close proximity of the hurricane to the coast, people from the Carolinas to Massachusetts will need to closely monitor the track and strength of Joaquin for high wind and coastal flooding concerns.
Inland and coastal flooding is also a major concern. “The worst flooding will be where it rains the longest or the near the pivot point,” Abrams said. “That point is likely to be centered on the Carolinas and Virginia this weekend.”
Like flash and urban flooding, coastal flooding and beach erosion will occur well away from the storm center and ahead of the storm, even if the storm remains at sea.
Residents are being warned to make every effort to take cover and find safety if they are in the line of this storm.
Forecasters say Hurricane Joaquin has strengthened to ‘an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane.'
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Thursday afternoon that additional strengthening is expected over the next 24 hours, as the storm moves past the Bahamas, bringing winds, heavy rain, dangerous surf and significant storm surge.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and is moving southwest at 6 mph. It is about 70 miles south-southeast of San Salvador, Bahamas.
A hurricane watch is in effect for much of the Bahamas and other nearby islands. Forecasters say the center of Joaquin should move over or near portions of the central Bahamas Thursday afternoon and night.
Forecast maps show the storm passing the Bahamas and then making its way toward the U.S. over the next couple of days, though it's currently still unknown where or if the hurricane will make landfall in the United States.
Might move out to sea: