Tropical Storm Humberto gets closer to the area devastated by a hurricane in the Bahamas

Tropical Storm Humberto’s core is passing just east of the Bahamas’ Abaco Islands, but it is still expected to bring strong winds and rain to areas ravaged by Hurricane Dorian nearly two weeks ago.

Humberto’s center was 30 miles east of Great Abaco island as of 8 a.m. ET Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said. It’s expected to whip much of the northwestern Bahamas with tropical-storm-force winds Saturday, though the winds should subside later in the day as the storm moves away.

The storm could generally drop 2 to 4 inches of rain on the Bahamas, with some isolated areas getting up to 6 inches.

For areas hard hit by Dorian — the Abaco islands and Grand Bahama — conditions could “deteriorate throughout the day,” with rain and wind gusts possibly reaching 60-70 mph, CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the northwestern Bahamas, excluding Andros island, the center said.

Humberto’s center does not appear destined for the US Southeast coast, contrary to earlier forecasts. However, its outer bands still could drop 1 to 2 inches of rain on parts of coastal Florida and Georgia by the end of Monday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Humberto’s maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph Saturday morning. Winds of tropical-storm strength extended up to 90 miles from its center.

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It’s expected to become a hurricane after leaving the Bahamas

After it clears the Bahamas, Humberto is expected to become a hurricane in the Atlantic by Sunday night, the hurricane center said.

But the current forecast track predicts Humberto turning away from the US coast — and possibly heading in Bermuda’s direction late next week.

“Since the forecast track has shifted farther to the east, the chance of heavy rainfall affecting the southeastern United States has diminished,” the hurricane center said.

Swells generated by Humberto could affect the coasts of central Florida to South Carolina through early next week. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, the center said.

The storm comes at the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, which is usually in the weeks surrounding September 10, when weather conditions favor storms forming quickly.

Bahamas grappling with devastation

Meanwhile, hundreds are still missing in the aftermath of the powerful Category 5 hurricane that smashed into the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama this month.

The death toll stands at 50 but is expected to rise as search and rescue crews sift through flattened neighborhoods.

“We are a nation in mourning,” Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said in a statement. “The grief is unbearable following the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian, which has left behind death, destruction and despair on Grand Bahama and Abaco, our second and third most populous islands.”

About 3,900 evacuees have been processed through south Florida by air and sea so far, officials said.

The number includes US citizens, legal residents, Bahamians and people from other countries who evacuated the islands after the storm hit.

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