(NEW YORK) — Hurricane Joaquin is hitting islands in the central Bahamas with heavy rain and strong wind as it makes its way northward, roaring on a path that could take it near the U.S. East Coast, while a second storm dumps torrential rain on some of the states along the Atlantic Ocean.
Forecasters say the Category 4 storm is likely to stay out in the Atlantic. The storm’s impact on the East Coast, which is already suffering from flooding and heavy rains, remains unclear.
Joaquin is drifting toward the northwest at about 3 mph, according to the National Weather Service Hurricane Center. Its winds exceed 130 mph.
A hurricane warning is in effect for sections of central and northwestern Bahamas, meaning hurricane conditions are expected. A hurricane watch is in effect for Bimini and Andros Island.
Up to 25 inches of rain are possible in some areas of the central Bahamas, according to the NWS. The storm could also bring flash flooding and storm swells.
While Joaquin isn’t expected to make landfall in the five states — New Jersey, North and South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland — have already issued emergency declarations.
Watch a live radar tracker of Hurricane Joaquin from ABC News below.
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