Hurricane Joaquin, positioned over the Bahamas as of Thursday afternoon with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, is poised to ruin weekend plans and bring flooding rains to much of the Eastern Seaboard over the next several days. Joaquin was upgraded to a Category 4 storm on Thursday.
According to the National Weather Service, the five-day forecast puts Joaquin just off the coast of North Carolina early Monday morning and weakening below hurricane status as it makes landfall around New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island on Tuesday morning.
While Accuweather disagrees with the timing of the storm, one thing is clear – don’t underestimate the power of Joaquin.
"There is going to be catastrophic flooding from North Carolina to Massachusetts, and this is going to disrupt the economy regardless of whether or not Hurricane Joaquin makes landfall,” Mike Smith, senior vice president and chief innovation executive of AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, warned.
It could impact as many as 65 million people living from South Carolina to Massachusetts.
The concern it may be a repeat of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy are becoming stronger, and there is little doubt there will be impacts including flooding, property damage and power outages. Click here for more from AccuWeather.
The final path of the hurricane will change over the next several days, but meteorologists warned anyone living along the Eastern Seaboard to prepare now. Even if Joaquin doesn’t make landfall, it will still bring excessive amounts of rainfall. The Weather Channel expects Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia to take the brunt of the flooding, with some portions of South Carolina seeing as much as 12 to 18 inches of rain.