Hurricane Maria Strengthens Again on Its Path to Turks and Caicos

September 21, 2017, 1:43 PM UTC

Hurricane Maria, which has regained major hurricane status after strengthening again to a Category 3 storm, is on the move once again. And while southeastern states like Florida, Georgia and South Carolina are seemingly in the clear, the Caribbean continues to keep a close eye on the storm.

Turks and Caicos will likely feel the effects next, as Puerto Rico struggles to recover after taking a direct hit from Maria. The entire island was left without power after the storm hit Wednesday and officials say it could be months before it is restored. The Bahamas, though, might have gotten a reprieve.

The latest path projections from the National Hurricane Center show the storm taking a sharper turn than was estimated 24 hours ago. That moves it farther away from the Bahamas this weekend – and should reduce any surge impact on mid-Atlantic states like North Carolina and Virginia.

The Central Bahamas are currently under a Tropical Storm Watch.

It’s a substantial (and very welcome) shift from the storm’s projected path on Monday, when it appeared the Bahamas would also take a direct hit.

Hurricane Maria Projected Path
Hurricane Maria’s projected path as of 11am on Sept. 18.National Hurricane Center
National Hurricane Center

Maria is the fourth major storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Jose. Harvey damages could cost up to $180 billion and, while Irma fell short of the $250 billion estimates some feared it could bring, the storm has still had a tremendous effect. Damage estimates for Puerto Rico have not been tallied as yet, but will certainly be in the billions.