Hurricane Jose weakened to a tropical storm Tuesday night, but forecasters warned dangerous surf and rip currents were likely to continue Wednesday along the U.S. East Coast.
The storm is not forecast to make landfall, rather rit's projected to remain swirling off the coast.
The National Hurricane Center said Jose was located about 150 miles south of Nantucket, Mass., and has sustained winds of 70 mph while moving northeast at 8 mph.
"On the forecast track, the center of Jose is expected to pass well to the east of the New Jersey coast today, and pass offshore of southeastern Massachusetts on Thursday," the NHC said.
A tropical storm warning was posted for coastal areas in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and tropical storm watches were up for parts of New York's Long Island and Connecticut.
Jose has forced the cancellations of all ferry service to Block Island for Wednesday, WPRI reported. The Rocky Hill School in East Greenwich also closed in Rhode Island as the storm neared.
The Narragansett Emergency Management Agency warned bystanders watching the waves to stay off the rocks along the coast after the heavy surf knocked five people off a jetty Sunday afternoon, sending them to the hospital.
“Waves just swept them off the of the rocks and into the beach area and into the water,” Narragansett Fire Chief and EMA Director Scott Partington told WPRI. “Some of them were seriously injured. Five I believe went to the hospital, three we transported ourselves. Some with serious lacerations to the head.”
In Massachusetts, sandbags lined the sidewalks on Nantucket where flooding was a concern.
Utility crews have been stationed on Nantucket and Cape Cod in case winds from Jose may bring down trees and utility poles, Boston 25 News reported.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency activated its Emergency Operations Center in advance of the storm, and said its ready to deal with the effects through Wednesday night.
"The storm is expected to continue pushing further east away from the coast and to pass offshore of southeastern Massachusetts by Thursday," the agency said Wednesday. "Generally, the Cape and Islands, and southeastern Massachusetts, will experience conditions similar to a strong nor’easter."