A hurricane watch was issued for Antigua and Barbuda on Thursday as a potentially powerful new storm, Jose, brewed in the Atlantic Ocean just one day after part of the dual-island Caribbean nation was devastated by Hurricane Irma.
Hurricane Irma slammed into Barbuda, the less populated sister island of Antigua, leaving an estimated half of its population homeless and killing at least one person, according to the country’s prime minister, c.
The National Hurricane Center, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States, said Hurricane Jose now threatened to make the island nation’s problems worse, kicking the surf into menacing swells and dumping as much as 10 inches of rain that “will maintain any ongoing flooding and may cause additional life-threatening flooding.”
The hurricane watch was issued by both the National Hurricane Center and the National Office of Disaster Services in Antigua.
The National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Jose was now a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour. As of 2 p.m. on Thursday, the center said the storm was roughly 660 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, the island chain that contains Antigua and Barbuda.
The National Office of Disaster Services in Antigua said the storm was moving west-northwest at 18 miles per hour on Thursday, but was expected to slow down slightly in the coming days.
“Based upon the latest observation and analysis, Hurricane Jose could come very close to the Leeward Islands by early Saturday,” the center said in a statement. It urged island residents to closely monitor the news “as even a slight shift in the current track to the west could bring it dangerously close to the islands.”
NEW YORK TIMES