Contrary to prior predictions, Hurricane Joaquin diverted from the East Coast last week, leaving the entire New England area unaffected by its wrath. The storm continued to die down as it approached the North Atlantic Ocean.
Meteorologists noted the possibility of the storm passing through New England, but indicated a slight chance of the Category 4 hurricane making direct landfall in or near Massachusetts late last week. Several states preemptively issued flood watches and warnings to prepare.
Instead, the storm briefly skirted the Carolinas and veered into the Atlantic Ocean before it could impact the northeastern coast. Mid-Atlantic states bore the brunt of Joaquin.
South Carolina saw the worst, receiving over two feet of rain during the past week, however, both Carolinas have faced heavy flooding and miles of destroyed property. There are now 17 reported deaths in South Carolina and two in North Carolina.
Outside of the US, the majority of Joaquin’s impact was in the Bahamas, which has entered a state of emergency. Entire islands have severely flooded, with associated damages to building structures on those islands. While specific statistics are still unavailable, hundreds of Bahamians have been displaced by the storm, and survivors have unofficially reported numerous deaths. The U.S. Coast Guard has been active in transporting supplies to the islands, although needs remain high.
Joaquin weakened to a Category 1 hurricane even as it pounded the island of Bermuda with heavy rainfall and high winds, resulting in widespread power outages and debris along the roads before winding down on the coast of Europe.