Tropical Storm Humberto Forecast to Strengthen Into Hurricane by Sunday

By The Associated Press

The Bahamas missed the brunt of Tropical Storm Humberto, which is expected to become a hurricane Sunday, Sept. 15.

Humberto is moving away from the Bahamas and is about 180 miles (290 km) northwest of Great Abaco Island and 165 miles (270 km) east of Cape Canaveral, Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds are 65 mph and it is moving at 7 mph, according to the center. The storm is slowly strengthening and is expected to become a hurricane on Sunday, said CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam.

The storm is forecast to continue moving away from the Bahamas and remain well offshore of Florida’s east coast through Wednesday, the center said. The storm will generate swells that will affect the northwestern Bahamas and the U.S. coast from east-central Florida to North Carolina during the next few days. The swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, forecasters say.

Path of Tropical Storm Humberto on Sept. 15-CNN
The forecast path of Humberto as of Sept. 15, 2019. (CNN)

Bahamas Hit by Humberto

Humberto moved away from the Bahamas on Saturday after dumping rain on parts of the archipelago’s northwest region that were already hammered by Hurricane Dorian two weeks ago.

Humberto dropped rain on the islands as U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres visited the Bahamas to support humanitarian efforts in the wake of Dorian, which hit as a Category 5 storm that left thousands in need of food, water, and shelter. The list of missing stands at an alarming 1,300 people and the death toll at 50. But officials caution the list is preliminary and many people could just be unable to connect with loved ones.

The storm originally threatened to exacerbate the nation’s problems, but conditions appeared to normalize Saturday afternoon. The Bahamian government discontinued a tropical storm warning earlier in the evening.

A shattered gas station is seen at the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in Freetown, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sept. 13, 2019. (Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

Under a bright sun in the Grand Bahama, 40-year-old maintenance man Dexter Wilson was helping a friend put a blue tarp on a damaged roof. He said he was worried about his brother in Abaco given the tropical storm.

“He’s still there. I don’t know why,” he said.

The hurricane center said most of Humberto’s heavy squalls were occurring north and east of the center of the storm, which passed just east of Abaco. However, government officials in the Bahamas took no chances and urged people in damaged homes to seek shelter as they announced that aid efforts would be temporarily affected.

Mos Antenor, 42, drives a bulldozer while clearing the road after Hurricane Dorian Mclean’s Town, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sept. 13, 2019. (Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

“The weather system will slow down logistics,” said Carl Smith, spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency.

The distribution of meals in Grand Bahama was reduced ahead of the storm, and a spokesman for the United Nations World Food Program said all flights into its logistics hub in Marsh Harbor in Abaco were suspended.

Later Saturday, WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel said the agency had resumed activities in Marsh Harbor.

“Our team is back at work to support the population and relief organizations,” Verhoosel said in a statement.

Dave McGregor, president and COO of the Grand Bahama Power Company, said crews would resume restoring power as soon as possible.

“We are back in storm preparation mode again, unfortunately,” he said.

Guterres, who was in Abaco on Saturday, said he was “horrified” by the level of “systematic devastation.”

“Hurricane Dorian has been classified as Category 5. I think it’s Category Hell,” the U.N. secretary-general said after his visit.

The CNN Wire contributed to this report.