Hurricane Joaquin is slamming the Bahamas with winds up to 120 mph

Hurricane Joaquin has hit the Bahamas.

The eye of the storm is currently near Samana Cay, a largely uninhabited island in the Bahamas. The National Hurricane Center says the storm will continue to hit the Bahamas throughout Thursday. 

Overnight, the winds picked up to 120 mph, holding steady as a “major hurricane,” or Category 3 storm out of 5.

Here’s what the storm looked like on September 30:

Joaquin will move southwest for a while over the Bahamas before turning west-northwest later Thursday night.

The NHC forecasts that the southeastern coast of the US will start to feel the effects of the hurricane Thursday, mainly in the form of rip currents and life-threatening waves. While meteorologists aren’t sure exactly what states will be most affected, they have suggested that the Florida and Georgia coasts could see the brunt.

And regardless of whether Joaquin makes landfall in the US, the East Coast should expect heavy rain and take precautions for flooding, meteorologists say.

On Thursday afternoon, the winds could pick up to 135 mph.

Here’s a map of Joaquin’s projected path:

A more complete report on the Bahamas will be coming in at 11AM We’ll keep you posted. 

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