Coastal communities prepare for Florence and Isaac

Tropical Storm Isaac was expected to make landfall as a tropical depression on Jamaica's southern coast over the weekend. Image courtesy NOAA

Sustained winds remained at 90 miles per hour, but the storm - which was never expected to threaten the US coast - should begin to weaken over the next day and become a tropical storm on Thursday, forecasters said in an 11 a.m. advisory.

Maximum sustained winds were nearly 85 miles per hour Monday morning, the hurricane center said.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Isaac was located near latitude 15.0 degrees north and longitude 65.5 degrees west.

The cyclone is expected to accelerate and turn toward the northeast over the weekend, says to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Forecasters have warned that Storm Helene could pose a danger to life when it bears down on the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland next week.

Isaac is expected to reach the islands, which remain under a tropical storm warning, by Thursday afternoon and cross the Caribbean through Saturday.

It is not expected to impact the US coast.

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"Life-threatening flash flooding is possible with Isaac".

Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at hurricanes.gov.

At least 800 flights have been cancelled or grounded due to the storm's expected landfall, CNN reported. 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.

A Tropical Storm Watch which had been issued for St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Barbuda and Antigua was also expected to be discontinued by Thursday evening. It is still a Category 4 storm with winds of 130 miles per hour.

Terrifying as the situation is (I am regularly checking on my folks, who abandoned Charleston for the highlands of North Carolina), there is a silver lining. This general motion is forecast to continue today with a decrease in forward speed as it gets over the Caribbean Sea.

From the Ocracoke Inlet to the North Carolina-Virginia border and from the South Santee River to North Myrtle Beach, the NHC forecast that water could rise as high as 6 feet.

The agency is also monitoring a tropical disturbance that has a 60 percent chance of forming a tropical storm.

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