The National Hurricane Center upgraded Hurricane Dorian to Category 3, on Friday, with wind speeds now above 110 mph, as the storm approaches the Bahamas from the east.
The storm is expected to impact the islands during the morning of Saturday, Aug. 31, before it marches toward the Atlantic coast of Florida on Sunday. Evacuations have been ordered for a number of residents on the island of Grand Bahama, while residents in other parts of the islands have hurriedly been boarding up windows, stockpiling supplies, and bracing for the storm’s impact. Cruise ships, normally reserved for leisure cruises and commutes between the islands, are assisting with some of the evacuations.
Government offices and schools on the islands were closed on Friday.
The NHC is now projecting that Hurricane Dorian will make landfall near the southern tip of Florida after 8:00 a.m., on Monday morning, with Category-4 wind speeds approaching 140 mph. As of 5:00 p.m. EDT, the storm had closed to within 600 miles of West Palm Beach.
NHC warns that that Hurricane Dorian now poses a “triple threat of dangers” that include “life-threatening storm surge, devastating hurricane-force winds, and heavy rains.”
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 30, 2019
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statement, on Friday, indicating that he remains in close contact with the White House. President Trump has declared a state of emergency covering the state of Florida and has authorized FEMA to coordinate relief efforts, as needed.
DeSantis had declared a state of emergency in all 67 Florida counties, on Thursday, in anticipation of significant damage when the storm hits. The governor has activated 2,000 soldiers and airmen with the Florida National Guard to assist relief efforts, while also expecting to activate an additional 2,000 National Guardsmen Saturday.
Twelve counties in the state of Georgia also remain in a state of emergency since Thursday. The Georgia coast is anticipating strong winds and heavy rains, beginning as early as Monday afternoon. Hurricane Dorian is currently projected to move north along the Florida coast, by Tuesday and Wednesday.