Packing winds of 105 knots and expected to intensify, Hurricane Joaquin menaced the Bahamas on Oct. 1 with significant impacts expected before the storm turned north. The National Hurricane Center reported disagreement among various computer models and an uncertain future path for the storm. However, the center said it anticipated posting hurricane watches for much of the East Coast around nightfall on Oct. 1, even though the storm’s potential U.S. landfall is still up to five days away, depending on its track. Heavy rain and gusty winds associated with another frontal system (that was expected to help steer the hurricane) caused flooding in many locations ahead of Joaquin’s arrival, and rainfall associated with the front was expected to continue as the hurricane approached. That pre-storm soaking could intensify the impact of the hurricane itself, even if it never makes a U.S. landfall, forecasters said.
AOPA offers a detailed briefing online that covers the essentials of storm preparation for aircraft owners, including tips for sheltering or relocating aircraft to minimize potential damage. AOPA Insurance Services offers hurricane coverage for members, and additional information on storm preparation including how to move an airplane out of harm’s way.
Forecasters and weather experts were taking the storm seriously, anticipating impacts that could rival past storms like Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which did $75 billion in damage and was the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history.
While significant uncertainty remained about the storm’s future path, aircraft owners and pilots should watch closely and prepare to protect or relocate their aircraft as needed. The National Hurricane Center website will carry the latest news and information while the storm remains a potential threat.