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Hurricane Joaquin Strengthens, Approaches Bahamas


Tropical Storm Joaquin is seen approaching the Bahamas in this NOAA Goes-East satellite image taken Sept. 29, 2015.

Hurricane Joaquin has strengthened a little more as it heads toward the central Bahamas, and its maximum sustained winds are now 85 mph (137 kph).

The storm is on a projected track to move near or over parts of the central Bahamas on Wednesday night and Thursday. The islands are bracing for strong winds, heavy rain and coastal flooding.

Joaquin became a hurricane earlier Wednesday. Forecasters say it could become a major hurricane with winds of at least 111 mph (179 kph) over the next couple of days.


Meanwhile in the Pacific, Marty has weakened to a tropical depression as it moves away from Mexico's coast.

Marty's maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 35 mph (55 kph) and it's expected to weaken to a remnant low later Wednesday or on Thursday. The depression is centered about 115 miles (185 kilometers) south-southwest of Zihuatanejo, Mexico.