Hurricane Florence’s winds and rain begin lashing Carolinas

Hurricane Helene is not expected to pose any danger as it turns northward in the Atlantic Ocean

Hurricane Helene is not expected to pose any danger as it turns northward in the Atlantic Ocean

The tropical storm remnants are passing south of the island and moving west across the Caribbean region.

Tropical storm warnings were issued for Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe.

As of Thursday morning, forecast models showed the storm bringing more rain than originally thought - officials now predict 35 inches of rain will fall in a two-day period as Florence, now a Category 2 storm with 110 miles per hour sustained winds, will stall over Wilmington after making landfall early Friday morning. Isaac has maximum sustained winds of 45mph with higher gusts, and officials at Hazard Management Cayman Islands are urging people to keep an eye on the storm's path because it could be heading our way.

The storm was about 100 miles southeast of Wilmington and had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, which is slightly weaker than earlier Thursday, the briefing said.

The government of the Netherlands has discontinued the Tropical Storm Watch for Saba and St. Eustatius. The storm, which just days earlier had been a hurricane, weakened significantly as it approached the the Lesser Antilles and passed with little notice in the USVI, stirring some winds and bringing some hit-or-miss showers to the territory but little else.

In the Atlantic, while Joyce is far out to sea and poses no immediate threat to land, 70-mph Helene is forecast to roar near the Azores on Saturday and Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said. Gradual weakening is forecast during the next few days.

"On the forecast track, Isaac is anticipated to move near or over the central Lesser Antilles on Thursday and move into the eastern Caribbean Sea later on Thursday night", the NHC said.

Isaac was a hurricane Sunday night but downgraded when maximum sustained winds fell below 74 miles per hour.

The storm is likely to die out by Wednesday, the forecaster said.

STORM SURGE: Some coastal flooding is possible in areas of onshore winds. Flash flooding is going to be a big issue soon - certainly catastrophic.

With the ground already saturated from recent rain, another drenching from Florence combined with winds could easily lead to trees being uprooted and widespread power outages, he said.

A system in the central Gulf of Mexico was a little less certain. A hurricane hunter plane is scheduled to investigate the system Thursday.