Hurricane Sandy made its way from the Caribbean island of Jamaica all the way over to eastern Cuba early Thursday as a Category 2 storm with winds of 105 mph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
Before making landfall in Cuba, Hurricane Sandy claimed the life of a woman in western Haiti's Camp-Perrin. The woman who was pronounced dead on Wednesday reportedly tried to cross a flooding river in the Ravine du Sud, according to Haitian news agency AHP.
CNN affiliate TV J is also reporting that a man in Jamaica was killed when he was hit by a boulder sent tumbling downhill by the storm's rain.
Having left 70 percent of Jamaica without power and 1,000 people reportedly occupying shelters, the island is still under curfew Thursday morning, TV J reported.
While Hurricane warnings are in place for Jamaica and eastern Cuba, the NHC also warned of a projected path sex for the central and western Bahamas once it’s done with Cuba. Haiti, the eastern Bahamas and southeastern Florida are all under tropical storm warnings.
Reports indicate that rainfall amounts could hit up to 12 inches across the region, except for the Bahamas where the forecast calls for 3 to 5 inches. Lesser amounts are expected in the Florida Keys.
As Hurricane Sandy is beginning to make its presence known in the southeast United States, the storm is reportedly kicking up a powerful surf off Fort Lauderdale Beach.
"I went in the water, I did about three somersaults, strong rip current," Jason Russo, a Florida visitor from Connecticut, told CNN affiliate WSVN.
Fort Lauderdale's Ocean Rescue advised beachgoers to stay out of the ocean, but knows not everyone will heed the warning.
"The expert surfers will be out there so we just tell them to be careful and we're there if they need our help," Chief Breck Ballou told news outlet. "We're there to go out and get them."
Latest reports out of the NHC indicate that the center of Hurricane Sandy will shadow the east coast of the United States in the coming days and could "potentially transition over the weekend into a powerful nor'easter."
Massachusetts Emergency Management says Sandy could make landfall somewhere between Maine and Virginia, bringing with it heavy rain, flooding, high winds and widespread power outages.