5 things to know about the newly formed Hurricane Isaias, which continues heading toward Florida

Do you know how to pronounce 'Isaias'?

Sky (Stock image/Pexels)

New Hurricane Isaias kept on a path early Friday that’s expected continue on toward our country’s East Coast by the weekend.

Will it barely graze our coast, or could it reroute? We’re keeping an eye out on all the coasts for what this storm could mean for Florida, and the rest of the U.S.

At last check, the storm was approaching the Bahamas -- parts of which are still recovering from the devastation of last year’s Hurricane Dorian.

Isaias had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph Friday morning and was centered about 15 miles south-southwest of Great Inagua Island in the Bahamas, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. It was moving northwest at 17 mph.

What else is there to know about this storm?

1.) Well, a lot -- but first things first: You’re probably pronouncing it incorrectly.

Ready to hear how to say it? We’ll let this video do the talking.

Phonetically, it’s “ees-ah-EE-ahs.”

There are different ways to pronounce Isaias, but for the sake of a named storm, the National Hurricane Center has informed meteorologists this pronunciation will be the standard.

2.) The latest with Florida

At last check, the storm is forecast to:

  • Pass over the southeastern Bahamas early Friday
  • Be near the central Bahamas late Friday
  • And move near or over the northwestern Bahamas and near South Florida on Saturday.

3.) What the storm has done so far

On Thursday, while still considered a tropical storm, Isaias knocked out power, toppled trees and caused widespread flooding and small landslides in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, where at least 35 people were rescued from floodwaters and one person remained missing.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Puerto Rico were left without power and water.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the northwestern Bahamas, including Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, Abaco Islands, Berry Islands, Grand Bahama and Bimini.

Two of those islands, Abaco and Grand Bahama, were battered by Dorian, a Category 5 storm that hovered over the area for two days and killed at least 70 people, with more than 280 reported missing. People are still living in tents on both islands, and officials said crews were trying to remove leftover debris ahead of Isaias.

4.) What about our current pandemic?

Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced late Thursday that he was relaxing a coronavirus lockdown as a result of the impending storm, but said a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew would be implemented starting Friday. He said supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and hardware stores would be allowed to be open as long as weather permitted.

“These are especially difficult days,” he said during an online news conference. “We need at this time the spirit of love and unity.”

Stephen Russell, director of the Bahamas’ emergency management agency, said there were no plans to evacuate people, but he urged those living in low-lying areas to seek shelter.

The Bahamas has reported more than 500 confirmed COVID-19 cases and at least 14 deaths. It recently barred travelers from the U.S. following a surge in cases as it reopened to international tourism.

Given the pandemic, the prime minister urged young people booking hotel rooms to stay safe from the approaching storm to respect social distancing measures.

“Please do not engage in hurricane or COVID(-19) parties,” he said. “It can be devastating.”

5.) Rains so far

Isaias was expected to produce 4 to 8 inches of rain in the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Want to know what’s next?

The National Hurricane Center was monitoring two other disturbances Friday morning, both over the tropical Atlantic Ocean. The system near Africa has a chance to become a tropical depression, while the system near 45W could slowly develop over the SW Atlantic next week. (NHC/Twitter)

We’ll have all the latest hurricane coverage on-air and online.