Governors up and down the East Coast are warning residents to prepare for drenching storms that could cause power outages and close roads in a region already walloped by rain.
Hurricane Joaquin’s approach could intensify the damage, but rain is forecast across the region regardless of the storm’s path.
“Our state has seen the damage that extreme weather can cause time and time again – and I am urging New Yorkers to take precautions for more heavy storms in the coming days,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a newsrelease Wednesday. “I have directed State agencies to ready their emergency response equipment in partnership with local governments, and I encourage all of our state’s residents to be prepared and stay safe.”
Joaquin gained power and strengthened to a Category 3 storm as it bore down on the central Bahamas early Thursday.
The storm was predicted to turn to the north and northwest toward the United States late Thursday or Friday, but forecasters were still gathering data trying to determine how it might affect the U.S.
“We’ve got Air Force reconnaissance planes continuously giving us data from inside the hurricane this morning, and we’re going to be throwing a lot more aircraft resources at this problem over the next few days because it still is not certain whether or not Joaquin will directly impact the U.S. East Coast or stay out to sea,” said Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center.
While officials are still closely watching the progress of the hurricane, its exact path is far from certain. So far, there’s been little consensus among computer-prediction models for the hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center’s long-term forecast showed the storm could near the East Coast along North Carolina and Virginia on Sunday.