Hurricane Sandy Moving Towards Florida, Bahamas

By: , NewsOXY Reporter
10/25/2012 05:02 PM ET

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Hurricane Sandy is moving north at 18 mph after making landfall in Cuba. Residents boarded over windows and cleared drainage gutters ahead of the strengthening hurricane that had roared across Jamaica and left two dead in the Caribbean. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Sandy, which had strengthened to a category 2 hurricane, has maximum sustained winds of 105 mph.

The storm is expected to strengthen as it moves through the Bahamas later in the day. South Florida residents are experiencing strong winds and are currently under a tropical storm warning. The warning was extended northward as far as Flagler Beach and a tropical storm watch was issued for the northeastern Florida coast.

Sandy “is a complex of strong rains, very intense,” said civil defense Col. Miguel Angel Puig, adding that the rains could affect 200,000 people in Cuba.

The U.S. hurricane center stated that Sandy is expected to produce total rainfall of 6 to 12 inches across Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic and eastern Cuba.

“These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in areas of mountainous terrain,” the hurricane center said.

Eastern Cuba is mountainous and home to independent and state farms growing yucca, sugar, corn, coffee and fruit, among other crops.

Fishermen on the Gulf of Guaranayabo, which Manzanillo is located, moved their boats to safer ground.

People in Manzanillo, a city of 132,000 some 465 miles east of Havana, said they were worried about the impact, particularly after a wet summer that left sub-soils saturated.

“Given the condition of my house, I don’t know if it will withstand the force of a hurricane, but we are prepared,” said Emiliano Lopez, a 62-year-old who lives near Manzanillo’s seaside boulevard.

In Santiago, Cuba’s second largest city, tourist hotels prepared by getting generators ready for Sandy and closing off some outdoor spaces and pools.

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