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Hurricane Joaquin intensifies, threatens East Coast...maybe

Hurricane Joaquin, a powerful, late-season tropical storm is pounding the Bahamas and expected to threaten ... well, we don't know for sure.

Hurricane Joaquin over Bahamas_National Hurricane Center satellite image 3-30-ish ET 100115

Today, Joaquin became the first Category 4 hurricane to track through the Bahamas in October since 1866, 149 years ago.

So where's he going next? As hurricanes are wont to do, Joaquin is not tipping its hand, or path. Storms often make late, and dramatic, turns.

The South Florida Water Management District's collection of possible paths, known as spaghetti runs, are literally all over, and even off, the map below.

Hurricane Joaquin SFWMD spaghetti runs 100115 afternoon

As of this afternoon, the National Hurricane Center is projecting Hurricane Joaquin will head due north, making landfall somewhere on Long Island on Monday, Oct. 5. But, again, that could change.

UPDATE, Oct. 2: The odds of Joaquin making U.S. mainland landfall now are very low, with the forecast track trending farther to the east. Watch out, Bermuda! Still, the East Coast could get some high waves and drenching rain as Joaquin heads northeastward.

Aside from a hurricane threat, South Carolina already is experiencing heavy rain and high winds and similar weather could hit all the way to New England. 

So communities all along the Eastern Seaboard are cancelling events scheduled for this weekend. Some have even declared states of emergency just to be on the safe side.

Having gone through four hurricanes -- Two made landfall in our Palm Beach County community within three weeks of each other in 2004; we moved back to Texas in 2005. Coincidence? I think not. -- and numerous tropical storms when we lived in South Florida, I say "way to go" to those cautious public officials.

Meanwhile, everyone who might be remotely in the path of Joaquin needs to prepare themselves, their homes and their finances, just in case.

The ol' blog's special Natural Disasters Resources offers all sorts of suggestions, not only for getting ready for storms, but also for recovering afterwards (with help from the federal tax code) or, if you're not in harm's way, helping out those who sustain damage.

Please check it out. And everyone be careful and stay safe!


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