Published: Sun, September 01, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Watch Cat 3 Hurricane as it hits Bahamas & heads to Florida

Watch Cat 3 Hurricane as it hits Bahamas & heads to Florida

Puerto Rico is still struggling to recover from back-to-back hurricanes in 2017 that killed about 3 000 people soon after the island filed for bankruptcy.

The faint hope of dodging Dorian's fury came Friday, even as the storm ratcheted up from a menacing Category 3 hurricane to an even more unsafe Category 4.

Trump declared a state of emergency in Florida and authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster-relief efforts.

Phillips said if Dorian makes landfall in Florida, the state's east coast is the likeliest to feel the worst impact.

The storm could affect big population centres as well as major Florida tourist destinations.

Getting scarier with seemingly every update from forecasters, Dorian strengthened into an "extremely dangerous" Category 3 in the afternoon and was expected to become a potentially catastrophic Category 4 with winds of nearly 140 miles per hour (225 kph) before blowing ashore late Monday or early Tuesday.

Larrauri fled to Orlando two years ago when Hurricane Irma was expected to hit South Florida as a Category 5 storm and ended up shifting west to land on the Lower Keys and then Marco Island.

As of early Thursday, Dorian was a Category 1 hurricane packing 85 mph winds and was located about 150 miles north-northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Donald Trump had declared an emergency for the U.S. territory on Tuesday.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who had already declared a state of emergency for 26 counties on the state's east coast, extended it on Thursday to the whole of Florida.

"Hurricane Dorian looks like it will be hitting Florida late Sunday night", Trump tweeted on Thursday morning. It would subsequently hit the coastline of Florida by Labor Day on Monday and continue on until Tuesday.

"Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday, and remain an extremely unsafe hurricane through the weekend", the hurricane center said, warning of an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge along portions of Florida's east coast late in the weekend. Experimental weather models indicate Dorian's odds of rapid intensification are more than double that of a typical storm.

NASA image from space and residents collecting supplies in Costco.

The University of Central Florida, one of the largest US universities by student population, said its main campus in Orlando would close on Friday afternoon. The university called off the "Pegasus Palooza", a week of events and parties held annually to welcome incoming freshmen and transfer students.

And while the storm was strong, the response was swift. At this time our park operations and hours are continuing as normal. "We have plans and procedures for serious weather that are time-proven and we will continue to make operating decisions as we learn more", a theme park representative said in an email.

The U.S. Air Force base in Cape Canaveral, Florida said it has cut off power for non-essential facilities and urged base residents to prepare for possible hurricane-force winds. Walt Disney Co. didn't immediately reply to a request for comment. The company said over 400 people work on the island, and they need to go home to secure their homes and take care of their families.

Trump approved an emergency declaration for the Virgin Islands on Wednesday.

Dorian rolled through the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as a Category 1 hurricane on Wednesday.

As Hurricane Dorian neared Puerto Rico, customers did last-minute shopping at a supermarket in Patillas.

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