Bahamas and Florida brace for heavy rain as Hurricane Isaias barrels through the Atlantic

Hurricane warnings are now posted for parts of Florida's East Coast. CNN Meteorologist Jennifer Gray has the latest forecast.

Posted: Jul 31, 2020 6:41 AM
Updated: Aug 1, 2020 4:00 AM


Like many in southeastern Florida this weekend, West Palm Beach resident Benjamin Peterson was at Costco Friday stocking up on essentials in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Isaias.

The storm -- pronounced (ees-ah-EE-as) -- is the Atlantic's earliest storm on record to begin with an 'I.' As of 2 a.m. Saturday, Isaias was about 115 miles south-southeast of Nassau, Bahamas, and was moving northwest at 14 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Track the storm here

The storm has sustained winds of 85 mph and is expected to move over the central region of the Bahamas Saturday morning and near or over the northwestern Bahamas later in the day. The storm is expected to move near the east coast of the Florida peninsula Saturday afternoon through Sunday, the NHC said.

On Thursday, Isaias' exterior slammed Puerto Rico before it went over the Dominican Republic, all as a tropical storm.

'Every season you get a little bit nervous, and you always have that chance of whether or not the storm is actually going to come, and if it's going to bring the full force with it,' Peterson told CNN affiliate WFLX-TV at Costco Friday.

A hurricane warning is in effect for northwestern and central Bahamas as well as the Boca Raton to the Volusia/Brevard County line in Florida, as well as for the northwestern and central Bahamas, NHC said. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

Isaias is expected to produce up to 8 inches of rain in the Bahamas and up to 6 inches in southern and east-central Florida along with the Carolinas into the mid-Atlantic states. Northeastern Florida and coastal Georgia are expected to get up to 2 inches of rain this weekend, NHC said.

Those heavy rains could cause storm surge that could combine with the tide to 'cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline,' NHC said. Water in Florida could reach up to 4 feet above the ground and up to 5 feet above normal tide levels in the Bahamas.

Heavy rainfall could also cause flooding across the eastern Carolinas into Virginia.

Despite not knowing the exact path of the storm, states are preparing. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam both declared a state of emergency Friday ahead of the storm.

A storm threat during a pandemic

The storm comes at a sensitive time during the coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, Florida marked the fourth consecutive day it reported a record number of Covid-19 deaths in the state at 257.

Florida closed some state-supported Covid-19 drive-thru and walk-up testing sites on Thursday in anticipation of the storm.

Testing sites would remain open in 11 counties, nearly all of which are on the west coast or the Panhandle, the Florida Division of Emergency Management said.

The division said it anticipates all sites being opened by 8 a.m. August 5 at the latest.

Testing is shut down in Miami and will likely stay that way until Tuesday or Wednesday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told CNN Friday.

'That's going to be a gap in information for four or five days,' Suarez said.

In Palm Beach County, Mayor Dave Kerner said there will be an evacuation of a zone that houses primarily mobile homes and the county will open six shelters Saturday morning for residents. The shelters will be based at area middle and high schools as well as a recreation center, Kerner said.

Kerner said the county is well prepared and the shelters would have temperature checks and be divided into family units. Masks will be provided as needed and law enforcement will be on hand to help enforce social distancing, he said.

In the Bahamas, authorities announced that shelters have been set up across the country, with at least 10 shelters with supplies ready in New Providence. The Bahamas Defense Force and personnel from the health ministry have also been activated.

The Bahamas is also dealing with a second wave of coronavirus cases. The country's health minister, Renward Wells, said Friday that initial confirmed cases of the second wave were connected to 'individuals from Grand Bahamas who traveled from the United States.'

Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis on Thursday announced the easing of a coronavirus lockdown for citizens to better prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Isaias. The hardware stores, pharmacies and supermarkets would be allowed to open.

Terre Haute
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Robinson
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 59°
Indianapolis
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 61°
Rockville
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 54°
Casey
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 57°
Brazil
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Marshall
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 64°
Breezy, Warmer Thursday
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 354457

Reported Deaths: 9537
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1664575369
DuPage21231599
Lake19714506
Will17106422
Kane15616342
Winnebago9314167
St. Clair7623213
Madison6832152
Champaign574128
McHenry5726120
Peoria431064
McLean391831
Rock Island372189
Unassigned3627260
Sangamon355660
Kankakee319078
Macon263348
Kendall248527
Tazewell244549
LaSalle220760
DeKalb213842
Coles179838
Williamson173758
Boone168725
Adams165915
Clinton163124
Vermilion15627
Jackson144325
Whiteside116722
Randolph115914
Knox11519
Effingham10953
Ogle10897
Grundy8897
Jefferson86744
Franklin8666
Marion86613
Monroe86128
Bureau85517
Stephenson8207
Morgan81024
Henry7987
Christian78425
Macoupin74110
Union73825
McDonough66815
Fayette63821
Crawford6306
Lee6271
Shelby5928
Douglas5638
Livingston55710
Montgomery55515
Woodford55311
Logan5474
Saline5057
Bond4719
Warren4647
Iroquois45919
Jersey45621
Cass45011
Wayne44011
Jo Daviess4367
Fulton4290
Perry40916
Moultrie3785
Carroll3678
Johnson3220
Richland31815
Lawrence3068
Hancock2853
Clay28411
Washington2771
Clark2729
Greene27015
Pike2674
Cumberland2586
Jasper25010
Mason2381
White2351
De Witt2333
Pulaski2261
Mercer2256
Piatt2180
Wabash2105
Ford1829
Menard1651
Edgar1478
Massac1412
Marshall1403
Hamilton1142
Henderson1110
Alexander1091
Gallatin1052
Edwards990
Brown980
Scott950
Putnam860
Schuyler801
Stark802
Calhoun670
Hardin490
Pope361
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 150664

Reported Deaths: 4008
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion24697784
Lake13220352
St. Joseph8877159
Elkhart8469132
Allen7880222
Hamilton5962113
Vanderburgh559360
Tippecanoe354714
Monroe320738
Hendricks3183130
Johnson2995128
Porter297848
Clark285461
Delaware282074
Vigo252637
Madison229593
Cass222021
LaPorte215557
Warrick188464
Kosciusko176823
Floyd174867
Howard158866
Bartholomew139758
Dubois135125
Marshall132526
Henry122628
Grant120939
Wayne119327
Boone118848
Hancock114145
Noble113533
Jackson108713
Morgan92240
Dearborn91628
Daviess84033
Gibson83411
Clinton81616
Shelby79429
Lawrence78534
LaGrange76715
Harrison74024
Putnam71016
Knox70310
DeKalb69411
Posey6796
Steuben6008
Fayette58517
Miami5845
Montgomery57222
White56815
Jasper5624
Greene51837
Scott50813
Decatur49839
Adams4725
Clay4346
Whitley4316
Sullivan42812
Ripley4228
Wells4155
Starke3937
Wabash3919
Orange38725
Huntington3785
Spencer3706
Franklin36525
Jennings36013
Washington3592
Randolph3398
Fulton3362
Jefferson3305
Pike31913
Carroll31413
Perry29514
Jay2876
Fountain2863
Tipton26823
Parke2203
Newton21811
Vermillion2181
Rush2044
Owen2021
Martin1950
Blackford1923
Crawford1491
Pulaski1471
Brown1303
Ohio1227
Benton1070
Union1040
Switzerland890
Warren751
Unassigned0233