It will also be the fourth year in a row of a hurricane of any strength hitting Florida, the most years in a row since the 1940s.
With the devastation of 2018’s Hurricane Michael
still fresh in their minds, Floridians are not taking any chances.
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday declared a state of emergency for all 67 Florida counties. The state has 819,000 gallons of water and 1.8 million meals ready for distribution, he said in a news conference.
After tearing through the British and US Virgin Islands
and drenching Puerto Rico
with rain Wednesday, Dorian was moving northwest in the Atlantic Thursday night.
Warm waters are expected to strengthen the storm over the next few days. It’s on track to smack Grand Bahama islandon Sunday and likely crash somewhere along the Florida or Georgia coasts around Monday morning.
Because it’s four days out, the range of potential landfall spots stretches – from the Florida Keys to southeast Georgia. And the center may pause at sea shortly before landfall, leaving its outer bands to drench much of Florida with lots of rain, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.
The affected areas in the US will feel tropical-storm force winds of at least 39 mph as early as Saturday evening
“People have got to be ready before Sunday,” Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center, told CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday.
Floridians are lining up for gas and food
Officials, including Florida’s governor, have urged people to have seven days of food and medicine available — and coastal residents already are stripping store shelves bare with Dorian in mind.
Plenty of people also were stocking up on fuel Thursday along Florida’s Atlantic coast. That included Arthur Sanders, who waited in a long line to get gas in Port St. Lucie.
“They were directing traffic and had part of the parking lot blocked off,” Sanders said.
In Port Orange, 40 miles northeast of Orlando, Brooke Koontz found shelves of bread and water nearly empty at a Walmart on Wednesday. There were also slim pickings among canned goods, toiletries and bananas, too.
Thankfully, soon after she arrived, employees brought out a pallet of water.
“It was gone in seconds,” she told CNN. “People were trying to race.”
Long lines and low supplies have been seen at several stores in the Miami area, CNN affiliate WSVN
States of emergency have been declared in more than 25 Florida counties. Numerous officials are urging residents to get ready.
“Get water, get gas, get cash out of the ATMs,” West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James said on CNN Thursday. “The more we hear about this storm, it sounds like a serious one.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp told residents of his state to keep their eyes on Dorian, too. On Thursday, Kemp issued a state of emergency for 12 counties
Puerto Rico, still recovering from Hurricane Maria in 2017, expected the storm to exacerbate the existing damage to infrastructure, but the island was largely spared