Florida weather officials warned on Sunday that Hurricane Dorian is the strongest storm to ever threaten the state’s East Coast.
The Category 5 monster continues to batter parts of the Bahamas with 185 miles per hour winds.
The storm is still unpredictable, officials said. Last night, the storm was about 135 miles east of West Palm Beach. Millions of residents on the East Coast are waiting to see if the storm is going to turn north in the next two days – and spare the state with a direct hit.
“No matter what path this storm takes, our state will be impacted,” Jared Moskowitz, the director of the state’s Department of Emergency Management, said. “We will continue to work around the clock to prepare.”
The National Hurrican Center on Sunday issued the first warning for the hurricane for parts of Florida related to Dorian.
The storm has slowed early Monday, but it’s still moving west at 5 miles per hour.
If you’re in Dorian’s path, you should know a couple of critical things.
The warning affected states from Juniper Inlet, in Palm Beach County — reaching from the state’s Atlantic coast into its rural center — to the Volusia-Brevard County line. A hurricane watch also was announced from the Volusia-Brevard County line to the Flagler-Volusia County line.
Glenn Richards, the chief meteorologist on Fox, claimed that the forecast
turns Dorian northwest Monday eve and should keep the storm ~70 miles off the coast of Central Florida.
“This will produce tropical storm sustained winds and hurricane gusts along the coast with tropical-storm-force gusts inland. Still expecting 1-3 inches of rain inland with 3-6 inches near the coast,” he said. “Worst weather arrives early Tuesday and departs early Wednesday.”
The United States Hurricane Center announced a hurricane watch on Florida’s East Coast from Deerfield north to Georgia state line.
The very same area was put under a storm watch – Lake Okeechobee was already under a tropical storm watch.
Ken Graham, the director of the hurricane center, advised people not to be on safety just because the forecast had the storm a bit offshore. With each new forecast,
we keep nudging the Dorian's track a little bit to the left – wich is closed to the Florida coast.
On Sunday, the storm slammed into the Bahamas – as the strongest hurricane in modern times for the northwestern part of the islands.
The prime minister of the Bahamas, Dr. Huber Minnis, cried on Sunday while describing the devastation left behind.
Forecasters said Dorian was likely to begin pulling away from the Bahamas on early Tuesday.
“This is a deadly storm and a monster storm. I can only say to them, that I hope this is not the last time they will hear my voice and may God be with them,” he said.
There was very little information about the affected islands, even though officials expected a lot of residents to be left homeless. The majority of people went to shelters while the storm approached, while tourist hotels shut down – and residents boarded up their homes.
Overall, Dorian’s maximum winds reached 185 miles per hour, with gusts up to 220 miles per hour – setting the record for the most powerful hurricane to make landfall.
That equaled the Labor Day hurricane of `35, dated back when storms were not named yet.
The only recorder storm more powerful was Hurricane Allen in 198 – with 190 miles per hour winds, but didn’t make landfall.
South Carolina Gov. McMaster announced an order Sunday for the mandatory evacuation of the state’s entire coast. The order – which covered approximately 830,000 people – was to take effect on Monday noon. At this point, state troopers were to make all lanes on major coastal highway one-way heading inland.
A couple of hours later, Georgia’s governor Brian Kemp, ordered a mandatory evacuation for his state’s Atlantic coast – also starting Monday noon. On the other side, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned his state that `It could see heavy rain, winds, and floods during the week`