Published: 2015-10-02 05:47:00
Updated: 2015-10-02 23:05:55
Posted October 2, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Hurricane Joaquin will move well east of the United States as it moves north out of the Bahamas and into the Atlantic through the weekend, said WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.
The storm dropped to a Category 3 with sustained winds holding strong at 125 mph.
Rain soaked the Triangle all day Friday, but Maze said the wet weather should slightly decline by Saturday.
“What we’ve seen this evening will not at all be repeated tomorrow," Maze said. "If you’re thinking we’re going to have an extreme washout like we did this evening for the day Saturday, that’s just not going to be the case.”
At 11 a.m., the storm was centered about 878 miles south-southeast of Raleigh and moving slowly to the north. During the day on Friday and Saturday, Joaquin is expected to turn to the north and then northeast and weaken.
"Luckily, it looks like Joaquin is going to stay well offshore," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "It could end up missing the United States entirely as it zips up the East Coast."
By Sunday night, Joaquin will likely be passing east of North Carolina with winds near 105 mph. By Monday night, it will have weakened even more while sliding past Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay area.
Maze said the Triangle will still under a wind advisory until Sunday at 8 a.m.
Although the storm could have a minimal impact on the U.S., it has hammered islands in the central Bahamas with torrential rains that flooded homes. Surging waters reached the windows of some houses on Long Island in the Bahamas while on Eleuthera island people hauled sandbags and boarded up businesses as the storm neared Friday.
There were no immediate reports of casualties, according to Capt. Stephen Russell, the director of the Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency.
Prime Minister Perry Christie said he was amending laws to mandate evacuations because some people were refusing to move into shelters.
Meanwhile, authorities in the nearby Turks & Caicos Islands closed all airports, schools and government offices.