Published: Tue, September 03, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Dorian Now Cat 5, Threat to Florida Increases

Dorian Now Cat 5, Threat to Florida Increases

Over the next two to three days, the hurricane could dump as much as 4 feet (1.2 meters) of rain, unleash devastating winds and whip up an abnormal and risky rise in sea level called storm surge, meteorologist Ryan Maue told The Associated Press. That proximity would bring tropical-storm-force winds to the broad stroke of the area and potentially hurricane-force winds along the coast.

Hurricane Dorian had been threatening to strike the USA mainland, but there is still a lot of uncertainty on when and where it will make landfall.

In some parts of Abaco, "you can not tell the difference as to the beginning of the street versus where the ocean begins", said Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

Dorian's center could move along the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas on Wednesday and Thursday, hitting areas with storm surges and heavy rain.

Jack Pittard, a 76-year-old American who has visited the Bahamas for 40 years, also made a decision to stay put on Abaco for Dorian, which he said was his first hurricane.

Forecasters say "extremely dangerous" Hurricane Dorian is moving closer to the northern Bahamas.

The Category 5 hurricane is the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale; Janice Dean reports.

The 1 a.m. Monday update continued to characterize the situation created by the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian as "life-threatening". Sustained winds of 180 miles per hour, with gusts to over 200 miles per hour are being experienced.

Government spokesman Kevin Harris said Dorian was expected to impact some 73,000 residents and 21,000 homes.

In Grand Bahama, meanwhile, businesses were boarded up and thousands have evacuated Dorian's predicted path.

Potential rainfall for the area according to NOAA's early predictions
Potential rainfall for the area according to NOAA’s early predictions

Hurricane Dorian continues to lash the northern Bahamas as it crawls westward toward the southeastern US coast.

The Bahamas archipelago is no stranger to hurricanes.

Residents posted images online of water rising up the side of their houses as the National Hurricane Center warned of a possible storm surge of of 5.5 to 7 metres above normal tide levels, with higher destructive waves. It is still traveling west at 8 mph and is 225 miles of West Palm Beach.

The hurricane is then expected to gradually turn to the northwest, approaching Florida late Monday through Tuesday night. Forecasters say many computer models indicate Dorian is expected to veer sharply northeastward and track up the Southeast seaboard, raising the risks of damaging winds and deadly flooding even if there's no direct US landfall. In areas where the coastal geography and bathymetry are conducive to storm surge, these combined effects could inundate low lying areas and cause significant coastal erosion. The forecast track now has the hurricane staying offshore the mainland United States and spare Florida the brunt of its power.

"That cone of uncertainty still includes a lot of areas on the east coast of Florida and even into central and north Florida, so we are staying prepared and remaining vigilant".

Given the storm's uncertain path, coastal Florida residents were not yet under evacuation orders but were stocking up on supplies and weighing whether to flee their homes. The Hurricane Center also issued a hurricane watch and storm surge watch for the east coast of Florida from north of Deerfield Beach to the line between Volusia and Brevard counties.

She smiled thinking about how good the chicken would be now without a hurricane.

Governor Roy Cooper has already issued a state of emergency ahead of the storm and residents are being encouraged to prepare for the possibility of the storm impacting the Cape Fear Region.

"So far, there hasn't even been a snippet of conversation about evacuations", she said. Disney World and Orlando's other resorts held off announcing any closings.

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