Saturday, 08 August, 2020

'Extremely Dangerous' Dorian Becomes Strongest Hurricane in Modern History for the Bahamas

Ginger Lawrence | 02 September, 2019, 11:42

"The slow-moving nature of Dorian will make this storm particularly destructive as its centre may spend more than 36 hours traversing these islands of the northwest Bahamas, bringing life-threatening flash flooding and storm surge, as well as catastrophic winds", said Liota.

The storm is moving slowly toward Florida and the Southeast United States, but its exact track remains somewhat uncertain, with computer models shifting the storm slightly closer to the coast early Sunday compared to Saturday.

There was little information from the affected islands, though officials expected many residents to be left homeless.

Dauss and her family spent Sunday boarding up the windows and doors at her mom's home inside Briny Beeezes in Ocean Ridge as Hurricane Dorian leaves the community on edge.

Jeffrey Allen, who lives in Freeport on Grand Bahama, said he had learned after several storms that damage predictions sometimes don't materialize, but he still takes precautions.

However, forecasters have pegged the most likely arrival time of tropical storm-force winds as Monday night in Florida, and Friday morning in New England.

Many models show the storm staying just off Florida's coast Tuesday and then skirting the coasts of Georgia and North and SC. On this track, the core of extremely risky Hurricane Dorian will continue to pound Great Abaco and Grand Bahama islands overnight and through much of Monday. Lake Okeechobee was under a tropical storm watch. "Only a slight deviation to the left of the official forecast would bring the core of Dorian near or over the Florida east coast". So if you look at this cone you could still see a landfall in Florida.

Hurricane Dorian on Sunday became the strongest storm of its kind to hit the Bahamas - and Atlantic Ocean's most intense in almost 85 years - with sustained reported winds of 185 miles an hour and gusts over 220mph.

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Because it would take just a small shift in Dorian's track for hazardous winds to reach Florida's east coast, a tropical storm warning was issued for the zone from Deerfield Beach, just north of Fort Lauderdale, to Sebastian Inlet, just south of Melbourne.

Approximately 148,500 residents in St. Johns County, Florida, will be subject to a mandatory evacuation order that also goes into effect Monday morning, county authorities said.

Ken Graham, director of the hurricane center, urged people not to bet on safety just because the forecast track had the storm a bit offshore. That makes forecasting its path delicate and hard. "That's the ultimate, and that's what we have unfortunately", he added, in reference to Hurricane Dorian. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned his state that it could see heavy rain, winds and floods later in the week.

President Donald Trump already declared a state of emergency and was briefed about what he called a "monstrous" storm.

The hurricane upended some Labor Day holiday weekend plans in the US: Major airlines allowed travelers to change reservations without fees, big cruise lines rerouted their ships and Cumberland Island National Seashore off Georgia closed to visitors. "But it can change its course again and it can go back more toward Florida".

Later that month, Hurricane Maria struck the unincorporated USA territory of Puerto Rico, leaving behind a vast amount of devastation that the Caribbean island is still struggling to recover from.

Where (and if) Dorian will make landfall in the US seems to be an open question, with forecasts showing various possibilities from Florida north to the Carolinas, according to a CNN report. Disney World and Orlando's other resorts held off announcing any closings.