Sunday, 22 September, 2019

Hurricane Dorian swirls toward anxious Florida, packing 140-mph winds

Dorian a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds remains a direct threat to NW Bahamas and Florida East Coast northward...but glimmer of hope for some... Dorian upgraded to Category 4 storm as 130mph winds measured in Atlantic
Sandra Phillips | 31 August, 2019, 19:01

Dorian's maximum winds increased to 140 miles per hour Saturday as it nears the Bahamas then on to the Florida coast by late Monday.

Tourists scrambled to leave the Bahamas on Friday as Dorian approached its northwestern islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco, eager to take off before the worldwide airport shut down at 10 p.m.

It's the first Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic in 2019.

The NHC said Dorian was packing maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour (230 kph) and was expected to pass north of the southeastern and central Bahamas on Saturday and be near Florida's east coast late on Monday.

The Bahamas is preparing itself for the Category 4 hurricane.

Winds have intensified to almost 145 miles per hour (220 kilometers per hour), according to an NHC update on Saturday morning.

Minnis told a press conference Friday that the storm was potentially fatal.

Jeff Byard, an associate administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, warned that Dorian is likely to "create a lot of havoc with infrastructure, power and roads", but gave assurances FEMA is prepared to handle it, even though the Trump administration is shifting hundreds of millions of dollars from FEMA and other agencies to deal with immigration at the Mexican border.

"Do not be foolish and try to courageous out this hurricane", Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said at a news conference. Officials said between 2,000 and 3,000 people living on tiny cays in the Abaco Islands should evacuate and warned that those who did not were putting their lives at risk and endangering rescue crews. Some have it making landfall in Southeast Florida, some as far north as Melbourne, and some show it staying in the Atlantic skirting the coast and moving north.

The faint hope came on a day in which Dorian seemed to get scarier with each forecast update, growing from a unsafe Category 3 hurricane to an even more menacing Category 4 storm.

"What we're telling people, anywhere from Miami to Cape Canaveral, even up to Jacksonville, is to evacuate", Kottlowski said. "We urge all Floridians to have seven days' worth of food, medicine, and water".

Tropical Weather
Hurricane Dorian moving over open waters in the Atlantic Ocean

The storm is reportedly changed direction.

Two thousand National Guard troops were mobilized on Friday, and 2,000 more were due to be joining them on Saturday.

"All indications are it's going to hit very hard", Trump said in a video.

"Even if there isn't a center of the storm over mainland Tuesday night. the effects of the storm near landfall (are) still very unsafe", Shackelford said.

Georgia - another southeastern state that could be in the storm's path - has declared a state of emergency for 12 counties.

Miami Beach public works department workers fill sandbags and help load them into residents'cars in Miami Beach, Florida, August 31, 2019 in preparation for hurricane Dorian. "Georgia could be very much affected". According to the NHC, Dorian could now bring strong winds and life-threatening storm surge along the Georgia and SC coasts as it moves north next week.

A number of schools announced that classes would be canceled until at least Tuesday.

Orlando International Airport said it plans to shutdown Monday because of the storm.

Jessica Armesto and her 1-year-old daughter, Mila, had planned to have breakfast with Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy at Disney World.

In the Bahamas, Freeport's worldwide airport was set to close on Friday night and not reopen until September 3, amid worries that Dorian will slam tourist hotspots on the archipelago.

A Rolling Stones concert in Miami originally scheduled for Saturday night was moved up by a day due to the weather forecast, the band said on its Twitter account.

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