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Hurricane Jose strengthening, nearly a Category 5 storm

WISN Milwaukee logo WISN Milwaukee 9/9/2017
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11 p.m.

Hurricane Jose is growing more powerful and nearing Category 5 strength.

Jose is moving west-northwest near 17 mph. A turn toward the northwest with a decrease in speed is expected Friday night and through the weekend. The core of Jose will pass close or just east of the northern Leeward Islands.

Maximum sustained winds are near 150 mph with higher gusts. Some fluctuation in intensity, up or down, could occur over the weekend. Gradual weakening is

expected after that.

8 p.m.

The tiny Caribbean island of Barbuda has no time to clean up the major devastation left by Hurricane Irma as it braces for its second major hurricane in four days.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Barbuda, which lies in the forecast path of Hurricane Jose, expected to slam into the island Saturday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 150 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

So dire is the threat to the island that any of the 1,800 residents who didn't already flee before Irma are being evacuated by a flotilla of ferries being sent from Antigua, the other major island in the nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

The eye of Jose will pass just east of Barbuda on Saturday afternoon, the hurricane center said in its Friday afternoon advisory. A "dangerous" storm surge accompanied by "large and destructive waves" will raise water levels by more than two feet above normal tide levels in the hurricane warning areas, and between 3 and 5 inches of rain is expected with the storm.

The following watches and warnings are in effect:

Antigua has issued a hurricane warning for Barbuda and Anguilla.

France has issued a warning for St. Martin and Barthelemy.

There is a hurricane warning issued for Sint Maarten.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A hurricane warning is in effect for...

* Barbuda and Anguilla

* Sint Maarten

* St. Martin

* St. Barthelemy

A watch is in effect for...

* Antigua

A tropical storm warning is in effect for...

* Antigua

* Saba and St. Eustatius

A tropical storm watch is in effect for...

* Montserrat, St Kitts, and Nevis

* British Virgin Islands

* St. Thomas and St. John

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