Hurricanes Isaac and Florence continue to pose problems for Caribbean countries

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC)—Hurricane Isaac was showing little change in strength as it moved toward the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, while Hurricane Florence was expected to move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas by Wednesday.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said that Isaac, packing winds of 75 miles per hour (mph) located near latitude 14.7 North, longitude 43.9 West and moving toward the west near 14 mph.

“A westward motion with a slight increase in forward speed is expected through the end of the week.  On the forecast track, Isaac should move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday,” the NHC said.

It said that maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph with higher gusts and that additional strengthening is expected over the next day or two.

“Weakening is forecast to begin by the middle of the week as Isaac approaches the Lesser Antilles,” the NHC said, urging residents in the Windward Islands – Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines – to pay particular attention to the storm.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence was 580 miles south, south east of Bermuda with winds of 115 mph and strengthening into a major storm.

“Interests in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states should monitor the progress of Florence. Storm surge and hurricane watches could be issued for portions of these areas by Tuesday morning,” the NHC said, adding that at 11:00 a.m. (local time), the eye of Hurricane Florence was located near latitude 25.0 North, longitude 60.0 West.

“Florence is moving toward the west near 13 mph.  A west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days. A turn toward the northwest is forecast to occur late Wednesday night.

“On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday,” the NHC said.

“Florence is a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday,” the NHC warned.

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