HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) -- Eleven people in Cuba have died because of Hurricane Sandy, state news reported Thursday night, citing civil defense authorities.
Hurricane Sandy lost a little strength early Thursday evening but still remains a Category 2 storm, the National Hurricane Center reported in its 7:00pm advisory.
The hurricane has sustained winds of 100 mph - slightly weaker than the 105 mph reported just three hours earlier. Its eye is 105 miles east of the island nation's capital.
Hurricane Sandy remains a Category 2 storm, according to the late afternoon update from the National Hurricane Center.
Its strongest sustained winds are still 105 mph. But a larger area is experiencing hurricane-force winds, which now extends 35 miles out from the hurricane's eye, than was the case earlier Thursday afternoon.
As of 4:00 Central time Thursday, the storm was centered about 125 miles east-southeast of Nassau and chugging north at 20 mph.
It's expected to move through the central Bahamas today and near the northwestern Bahamas on Friday. Maximum sustained winds are near 105 mph, with higher gusts. It remains a Category 2 storm.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach parts of the east coast of Florida today and spread north through Friday, with a projected target between North Carolina and New York early next week.
Haiti and the Dominican Republic may get up to 20 inches of rain in some areas. Warnings and watches are in place for the islands and parts of Florida.
CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers warns that the storm will impact parts of the Northeast early next week, although the exact path remains unclear.