The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a warning for the US East Coast after hurricane Joaquin, moving toward the Bahamas, gained strength and upgraded into a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained speed of 115 mph on Wednesday.
The Major Hurricane is expected to turn into a Category 4 storm by late Thursday and hit areas lying along the East Coast , before moving northward during the weekend.
The states lying along the Atlantic Ocean include Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
Normal life in Northern and Central Bahamas will get affected Thursday and Friday with hurricane force winds, storm surge and heavy rains and life-threatening flash floods, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
The Government of The Bahamas has already issued a hurricane warning for the islands of Long Island, Exuma and its cays, Cat Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador in Central Bahamas; and Berry Islands, Bimini, the islands of Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, The Abacos and New Providence in Northwest Bahamas.
These areas are expected to receive tropical storm force winds and heavy rainfall followed with severe flooding.
Meanwhile, the US states lying along the East Coast have started preparations to manage the situation. Considering the major destruction caused by hurricane Sandy in 2012, states like New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have taken additional precautions this time.
The New York City has released a statement asking the public to use their “Notify NYC” services to get updates on the hurricane and to identify the hurricane evacuation zone by dialing 311 or through logging into the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder.
Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency in advance to the arrival of hurricane Joaquin. “We urge all Virginians to stay tuned to your local forecast and make a plan to stay safe in the event of flooding or other dangerous conditions. Don’t drive through high water. When roads are flooded, turn around and drive to a safe location. It may save your life,” McAuliffe, said in a statement.
Similarly, in July 2014, Arthur, a tropical storm Category 2 made a landfall in North Carolina Outer Banks.