Hurricane Joaquin strengthened to a Category 4 storm on Thursday as it hit the Bahamas with 140 mile per hour winds, but the storm may not be as powerful as it heads further north. Although it's tough to predict the exact movement of a hurricane, meteorologists believe Hurricane Joaquin will hit Bermuda by Sunday, and then move further east in the Atlantic Ocean, avoiding landfall with the coastal United States. But will Hurricane Joaquin still have an effect on some U.S. cities? States along the coast, from the South to New England, are keeping a vigilant eye on this wildly developing storm. Although it won't be making landfall, Hurricane Joaquin will still affect the East Coast.
According to The Weather Channel, all eyes are currently on Bermuda, where a hurricane watch has already been issued. Bermuda will most likely remain at the center of Hurricane Joaquin's path. However, the hurricane's strength is expected to slightly decrease to a Category 3 storm.
Although the storm took a sharp turn over the last two days, heading further east than previously expected, coastal U.S. cities are already feeling the damaging effects of the hurricane. Cities from Charleston to North Wildwood, N.J., have already reported flash flooding, with fast-moving waters stranding cars and even uprooting houses from their foundations.
NBC Philadelphia reporter Ted Greenberg posted a video to Twitter Saturday showing a North Wildwood house resting in a nearby bay, having been completely swept away by the flooding waves. Nearby Jersey Shore towns Wildwood, Avalon, and Sea Isle City also endured coastal flooding. Atlantic City also reported flooding on its city streets.
In South Carolina, flash flood warnings have been issued throughout the coastal parts of the state. According to NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins, Charleston received six inches of rain in a 12- to 18-hour period, and more is expected to fall over the weekend. Meanwhile, the Weather Channel reported at least eight inches of rainfall in North Myrtle Beach.
Cities in the Tri-State Area and New England are also preparing for more rain this weekend, as a separate storm is sure to hit the already flooded area. The Jersey Shore is expected to get the brunt of the damage, which will only be exacerbated if Hurricane Joaquin turns west toward the United States. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has already declared a state of emergency and consulted with Jersey Shore towns that were severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy just three years earlier.