Isaias is projected to reach Category 2 strength Friday night or early Saturday as it passed over the Bahamas before dying back down ahead of its brush with the Sunshine State, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The hurricane’s forward speed decreased a bit to 17 mph after passing over Hispaniola, while its maximum sustained wind speeds increased to 80 mph.
It was expected to maintain a northwest path passing over the southeastern Bahamas on Friday morning, the central Bahamas in the evening and east coast of Florida on Saturday afternoon, the news outlet reported.
Isaias’ forecast track shows it pushing north along the Eastern Seaboard through midweek.
The Hurricane Center said heavy rains associated from the system “may begin to affect South and east-Central Florida beginning late Friday, and the eastern Carolinas by early next week.”
On Thursday, while still a tropical storm, it toppled trees, destroyed crops and caused widespread flooding and small landslides in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
A man died in the Dominican Republic when he was electrocuted by a fallen electrical cable, officials said.
The Puerto Rico National Guard rescued at least 35 people from floodwaters, which swept away one woman who remained missing Friday.