Hurricane Joaquin is still hitting the Bahamas hard as of 8 p.m. ET on Thursday.
The National Hurricane Center says the storm is “battering” the central Bahamas with winds and heavy rain.
Joaquin has maintained winds up to 130 mph since 2 p.m. Thursday, making it a Category 4 storm out of 5. That means it’s holding steady as a “major hurricane.” Overnight, the winds picked up to 120 mph, intensifying to 125 mph by 11 a.m.
Here’s what the storm looked like on Thursday at 8:55 a.m. ET:
- NASA/NOAA GOES Project
Joaquin will move southwest for a while over the Bahamas before turning west-northwest on Thursday night. As of 8 p.m. Thursday, Cuba has issued tropical storm warnings for provinces in southeastern Cuba.
Once it does turn north, it looks like the mid-Atlantic will start feeling some of the effects of the storm. In the 2 p.m. storm update, the NHC said the elevated water levels and large waves will cause some erosion and coastal flooding.
According to Bahamas Press, there’s flooding happening on Acklins Island, which was on the southern eyewall earlier Thursday.
Hurricane Joaquin already flooding homes on Acklins Bahamas…Live shots…. pic.twitter.com/EfCMuXgiKu
— Bahamas Press (@Bahamaspress) October 1, 2015
And regardless of whether Joaquin makes landfall in the US, the East Coast should expect heavy rain and take precautions for flooding, meteorologists say.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) October 1, 2015
Here’s a map of Joaquin’s projected path as of 5 p.m.:
And here’s what the winds looked like as of 10 a.m. Thursday:
- Earth via Null School
The Bahamas bore the brunt of the storm on Thursday, as you can see in this YouTube video taken in Crooked Island:
Even the Turks and Caicos Islands to the southwest of the Bahamas were being pummeled with rain and some flooding:
Chances are things will ease up a bit in the Turks and Caicos Islands as the storm moves north towards the US. Experts are currently estimating that the storm could begin to be felt along the US East Coast on Thursday evening and in New York on Tuesday.
We’ll keep you posted as updates continue to come in Friday here.