Reports indicate that Hurricane Joaquin strengthened once again early Thursday, packing 120 mph winds as a second storm threatened historic rainfall and potential flooding for Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia this weekend. The Category 3 hurricane powered into the Bahamas after dawn, flooding some homes, according to local media. Its center was about 80 miles southeast of San Salvador Island at 11 a.m. ET, moving at about 6 mph. CONTINUE

The East Coast continues to be leveled with flooding roads, closing schools and people being forced from their homes. And forecasters say the worst is yet to come. The rainstorms may soon be joined by Hurricane Joaquin in a powerful weather system that could linger for days and dump as much as 10 inches through early next week in some places. The deluge has the potential to saturate the ground so heavily that trees topple onto power lines even without heavy winds. “The bottom line is: We are expecting very heavy rains all the way from the Carolinas up into new England,” said Bruce Terry, lead forecaster for the government’s Weather Prediction Center. Before the hurricane draws close to the U.S., an area of low pressure in the Southeast and a front stalled over the East Coast will pull moisture from the Atlantic Ocean that falls as rain over the next few days, Terry said. CONTINUE