But as Hanna takes aim at the East Coast, storm watchers also were tracking two other storms churning westward in the open ocean, including Ike, which rapidly swelled late Wednesday evening into a ferocious Category 4 hurricane.
At 5 a.m. Thursday, Ike had maximum sustained winds near 145 mph (230 kph). The National Hurricane Center in Miami called Ike "an extremely dangerous" hurricane.
Ike was roaring far out in the Atlantic, 550 miles (885 kilometers) northeast of the Leeward Islands, and forecasters said it was too early to say if it would threaten land. It was moving toward the west-northwest at 17 mph (28 kph).
Ike is the third major hurricane of the Atlantic season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. The other two were Bertha and Gustav.
Meanwhile, forecasters said Josephine, the tropical storm behind Ike, was getting stronger early Thursday after weakening on Wednesday. Josephine had maximum sustained winds near 60 mph (95 kph) and was moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 kph).
"We've got three of them on the way. We've just got to be prepared," said Frank Augustine, a 47-year convenience store manager, as he bought 10 five-gallon water jugs under blue skies at a Nassau depot.