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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hurricane Maria is not in a hurry and is taking its time to approach the Turks and Caicos.

Torrential rains and dangerous high waves continue along the north coast of Hispaniola.

At 10:45 p.m., the center of the Category 3 hurricane was about 110 miles east-southeast of Grand Turk Island.

Maria is moving toward the northwest near 8 mph but a motion toward the north-northwest is anticipated for Friday and Saturday.

On the forecast track, Maria’s eye will gradually move away from the northern coast of the Dominican Republic and then move near or just east of the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeastern Bahamas on Friday.

Maria is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Maximum sustained winds are near 125 mph with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles.

Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during Friday and Saturday.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…

  • Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata
  • Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…

  • Dominican Republic west of Puerto Plata to the northern border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…

  • Central Bahamas

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

WIND:  Hurricane and tropical storm conditions continue across portions of the Dominican Republic.  Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin in the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas later today, with hurricane conditions expected tonight or early Friday.  Tropical storm conditions are possible in the central Bahamas beginning late Friday.

Strong gusty winds are still possible today over portions of Puerto Rico, especially in heavier rainbands that are moving over the island.

STORM SURGE:  A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 4 to 6 feet above normal tide levels in the hurricane warning area in the Dominican Republic, and 1 to 3 ft elsewhere along the northern coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 9 to 12 feet above normal tide levels within the hurricane warning area of the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

RAINFALL: Maria is expected to produce the following rainfall accumulations through Saturday:

Puerto Rico…additional 4 to 8 inches, isolated maximum storm total amounts 35 inches.

U.S. and British Virgin Islands…additional 2 to 4 inches.

Northern and eastern Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, and Mayaguana in southeast Bahamas…8 to 16 inches, isolated 20 inches.

Inagua Islands, Crooked Island, and rest of southeast Bahamas…4 to 8 inches.

Northern Haiti…2 to 4 inches.

Rainfall on these islands will continue to cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

SURF:  Swells generated by Maria are affecting Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the northern coast of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the southeastern Bahamas.  These swells will reach the remainder of the Bahamas today and tonight and should reach portions of the United States southeastern coast on Friday.

These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.  Please consult products from your local weather office.

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