Some evacuations as Isaias reaches The Bahamas
NASSAU, Bahamas – Hurricane Isaias made landfall on the northern Andros Islands, ripping shingles off roofs and blew over trees as it made its way towards the capital on Saturday with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour (mph).
The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that winds had dropped from 85 mph and Bahamian officials were evacuating people on Abaco island, who have been living in temporary structures since Hurricane Dorian hit the chain of islands last September.
The authorities said that people living in the eastern end of Grand Bahama were also being moved.
In its latest weather bulletin, the NHC said that a hurricane warning is in effect for the northwestern Bahamas and some parts of Florida.
“The center of Hurricane Isaias was located by an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft and Bahamas radar near latitude 24.7 North, longitude 77.9 West. Isaias is moving toward the northwest near 12 mph.
“A general northwestward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected for the next day or so, followed by a north-northwestward motion by late Sunday. On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will move over northern Andros Island during the next few hours and move near or over Grand Bahama Island in the Northwestern Bahamas later today. Isaias is forecast to move near the east coast of the Florida peninsula tonight through Sunday,” the NHC said.
It said that reports from the reconnaissance aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have decreased slightly to near 80 mph with higher gusts.
“Little change in strength is expected through Sunday, and Isaias is forecast to remain a hurricane during this time. Slow weakening is expected to begin by late Monday.”
The NHC is warning that the combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.
“The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the right of the center, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.”
It said that Isaias is expected to produce rainfall amounts that could lead to life-threatening flash and urban flooding, especially in low-lying and poorly drained areas.
“Heavy rainfall from Isaias could result in potentially life-threatening flash and urban flooding, especially in low-lying and poorly drained areas. Minor river flooding is possible across portions of the Carolinas and into Virginia.”
The NHC said that swells generated by Isaias are affecting portions of Hispaniola, eastern Cuba, the Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas.
“These swells will spread along the east coast of Florida and the southeastern United States coast today. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” it added. (CMC)