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7.5m Florida residents could be without power as Hurricane Dorian is expected to hit as a Category 4

There is nothing stopping Hurricane Dorian from becoming a Category 5 storm when it hits the state’s east coast as early as Monday, a meteorologist has claimed. 

Some forecasters say there is a chance the storm will become the highest classification on the scale because Dorian has now developed an eye.

‘Hurricane #Dorian has developed an eye…Expecting it to become a major hurricane today,’ said meteorologist Ryan Maue on Twitter on Friday. ‘Nothing currently stopping storm from reaching Category 5. There I said it.’ 

KRQE meteorologist Christopher Nunley added: ‘Hurricane Dorian developing an eye. Major hurricane likely today. Wouldn’t be surprised if Dorian intensifies into a Category 5 over the weekend. Florida, take this seriously, this is a life threatening hurricane.’ 

It comes as 7.5 million Florida residents were warned they could be left without power as a result of Dorian. 

A new model, from the University of Michigan, Industrial & Operations Engineering program, predicts at least 35 percent of the Sunshine State’s population will lose electricity.

Dorian is becoming more powerful as it passes the warm waters off of Florida’s coast, and maximum sustained winds increased Friday morning to near 110 mph.

As of 8am on Friday, Dorian was about 260 miles east-northeast of the southern Bahamas. On Friday afternoon, the storm became a Category 3 hurricane. 

By the time Dorian hits Florida, it is likely to hit as Category 4 or Category 5 storm. If it becomes a Category 5, Floridians will have to battle wind speeds of more than 156mph.

That makes the storm comparable to Hurricane Andrew, which was was the most destructive hurricane to ever hit Florida where it made landfall, with wind speeds as high as 165mph, killing 65 people and causing $27.3billion in damage. 

 

There is nothing stopping Hurricane Dorian from becoming a Category 5 storm when it hits the state’s east coast as early as Monday, a meteorologist has claimed. Pictured: A satellite image shows Dorian as it approaches the Bahamas and Florida at 11.20UTC on Friday

Some forecasters say there is a chance the storm will become the highest classification on the scale because Dorian has now developed an eye

Some forecasters say there is a chance the storm will become the highest classification on the scale because Dorian has now developed an eye

A new model predicts that 7.5 million Florida residents - about 35 percent of the state's population - will lose power as a result of Dorian

A new model predicts that 7.5 million Florida residents – about 35 percent of the state’s population – will lose power as a result of Dorian

The storm's maximum sustained winds increased on Friday morning to near 110mph near the Bahamas

The storm’s maximum sustained winds increased on Friday morning to near 110mph near the Bahamas 

Dorian is currently a Category 2 storm, but it is expected to turn into a Category 3 storm later today

Dorian is currently a Category 2 storm, but it is expected to turn into a Category 3 storm later today 

Dorian, which is swelling into a dangerous Category 4 storm, could be comparable to Hurricane Andrew, which battered the Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana in August 1992

Dorian, which is swelling into a dangerous Category 4 storm, could be comparable to Hurricane Andrew, which battered the Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana in August 1992

The Trump administration said it was preparing for the storm's arrival by shipping food and water to affected areas

The Trump administration said it was preparing for the storm’s arrival by shipping food and water to affected areas

Some meteorologists warned that Dorian could hit as a Category 5 because it has developed an eye

Some meteorologists warned that Dorian could hit as a Category 5 because it has developed an eye

Miami Beach is currently experiencing severe flooding after one of the season’s highest tides of the year, a king tide, hit the area on Friday. 

Weekend breakdown of Hurricane Dorian 

Through Friday: The eye of Dorian is expected to hit the east and north of Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas

Saturday: Dorian will potentially impact the northwest Bahamas. Tropical winds will hit Florida

Sunday – Monday: Dorian with make landfall the Southeast US, most likely in Florida 

Source: Weather.com 

This has exacerbated fears that the storm will dump as much as 15 inches of rain, reported the Miami Herald.  

‘We understand this could be a slow-moving storm event. That concerns us. The longer it stays in our area, the more water that will accumulate,’ said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez. ‘This hurricane is approaching us at a time when we’re experiencing king tides here. That’s making it worse.’

Thursday night, President Donald Trump urged Florida residents to prepare for Dorian and said his administration is working ‘very, very hard’ ahead of the storm’s arrival by shipping food and water to affected areas. 

‘It’s looking like it could be an absolute monster,’ Trump warned in a Twitter video recorded outside the White House on Thursday evening. ‘We’re ready. We have the best people in the world ready to help you.’ 

The White House tweeted on Friday that both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were briefed on the hurricane yesterday and included photos showing several officials in the Oval Office.

‘President @realDonaldTrump and @VP Pence received a briefing on Hurricane #Dorian and directed Federal agencies to continue the efforts to protect lives, promote preparedness and expedite assistance to areas in the path of the dangerous storm,’ the tweet read.

Most of Florida is expected to experience widespread flooding, with potential maximum rainfall of 24 inches, according to AccuWeather.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that the storm is likely to make landfall on Monday north of West Palm Beach before it moves inland and batters Central Florida with rain and wind. 

Miami Beach is already experiencing flooding thanks to one of the season's highest tides of the year, a king tide. Pictured: Weston Rice drives through a flooded parking lot as he prepares to drop his jet ski into the water at the Haulover Marine Center on Friday

Miami Beach is already experiencing flooding thanks to one of the season’s highest tides of the year, a king tide. Pictured: Weston Rice drives through a flooded parking lot as he prepares to drop his jet ski into the water at the Haulover Marine Center on Friday 

As much as 15 inches of rain could fall on the already flooded area. Pictured: People walk to their boat through a flooded parking lot at the Haulover Marine Center

As much as 15 inches of rain could fall on the already flooded area. Pictured: People walk to their boat through a flooded parking lot at the Haulover Marine Center

By the time Dorian reaches Kissimmee on Wednesday morning, it is expected to decrease to a category 1 storm

By the time Dorian reaches Kissimmee on Wednesday morning, it is expected to decrease to a category 1 storm

Meteorologists warn that its still early and the hurricane's path could change before it makes landfall

Meteorologists warn that its still early and the hurricane’s path could change before it makes landfall

President Trump urged Florida residents to prepare for Dorian in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday evening and said: 'It's looking like it could be an absolute monster'

President Trump urged Florida residents to prepare for Dorian in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday evening and said: ‘It’s looking like it could be an absolute monster’

The White House tweeted on Friday that both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were briefed on the hurricane yesterday and included photos showing several officials in the Oval Office

The White House tweeted on Friday that both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were briefed on the hurricane yesterday and included photos showing several officials in the Oval Office

President Trump is shown Dorian's progression as it heads past the Bahamas and towards Florida and Georgia

President Trump is shown Dorian’s progression as it heads past the Bahamas and towards Florida and Georgia 

Omar (who didn't want to give his last name) places a hurricane shutter over a window on Friday as he helps prepare a business for the possible arrival of Hurricane Dorian

Endre Eles places a hurricane shutter over a window as he also helps prepare a business for the possible arrival of Dorian

Miami Beach residents Omar, left, and Endre Eles place hurricane shutters over windows ahead of Dorian on Friday 

Shoppers wait in line for a Sam's Club store to open before sunrise, as people rushed to buy supplies ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian in Kissimmee

Shoppers wait in line for a Sam’s Club store to open before sunrise, as people rushed to buy supplies ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian in Kissimmee

Food and other supplies are expected to disappear quickly as shoppers wait in a long line for a Sam's Club store to open before sunrise

Food and other supplies are expected to disappear quickly as shoppers wait in a long line for a Sam’s Club store to open before sunrise

A shopper checks the time while waiting for a Sam's Club store to open before sunrise

A shopper checks the time while waiting for a Sam’s Club store to open before sunrise

HURRICANE DORIAN’S PATH 

Friday: Dorian becomes a Category 3 as it moves through the Atlantic Ocean  

Saturday: Dorian’s eye hits the north and east of Turks and Caicos 

Sunday AM: Dorian slows its forward motion and hits the southeastern Bahamas

Monday AM: Dorian hits the northeastern Bahamas  

Monday PM – Tuesday AM: Dorian slows and hits Palm Beach County and potentially the entire eastern coast including:

  • Miami
  • South Beach
  • Hollywood
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Delray Beach
  • Jupiter
  • Port St Lucie
  • Vero Beach
  • Sebastian
  • Cape Canaveral

Tuesday PM – Wednesday AM: Dorian heads up towards Central Florida affecting areas including Tampa, Orlando and Kissimmee 

Wednesday: Rains and winds hit southeastern Georgia 

Source: The Weather Channel, NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center

According to the newspaper, by the time Dorian reaches Kissimmee on Wednesday morning, it will have decreased to a Category 1 storm with winds of 75 mph.

However, because the storm’s track could change, no immediate mass evacuations have been ordered. 

Along Florida’s east coast, local governments began distributing sandbags, shoppers rushed to stock up on food, plywood and other emergency supplies at supermarkets and hardware stores, and motorists topped off their tanks and filled gasoline cans.   

On Friday morning, Florida Power and Light activated its emergency response plan, saying in a news release that it has secured some 13,000 employees and additional personnel to help restore power after Dorian hits.     

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for every county and asked President Trump declare a pre-landfall disaster for all 67 counties. He also activated 2,500 members of the National Guard with 1,500 more on standby. 

Due to Hurricane Dorian’s uncertain projected path, I am expanding the state of emergency to include all 67 counties throughout Florida,’ DeSantis said Thursday morning. 

‘All residents, especially those along the east coast, need to be prepared for possible impacts. As it increases strength, this storm has the potential to severely damage homes, businesses and buildings, which is why all Floridians should remain vigilant. Do not wait until it is too late to make a plan .’

In a press conference Friday, DeSantis revealed that there is a fuel shortage but that steps are being taken to fix the situation. 

A supervised work crew of female jail prisoners fills sandbags for distribution to local residents in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian

A supervised work crew of female jail prisoners fills sandbags for distribution to local residents in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian 

Local residents wait in their vehicles to receive a limit of ten sandbags per car at a sandbag distribution location in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian

Local residents wait in their vehicles to receive a limit of ten sandbags per car at a sandbag distribution location in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian

Residents stock up with hurricane supplies at Home Depot in Miami on August 29, 2019, ahead of Hurricane Dorian's landfall

Residents stock up with hurricane supplies at Home Depot in Miami on August 29, 2019, ahead of Hurricane Dorian’s landfall

The Florida Department of Emergency Management tweeted a lengthy checklist of supplies to have on hand on Wednesday

The Florida Department of Emergency Management tweeted a lengthy checklist of supplies to have on hand on Wednesday

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency ahead for 12 counties closest to the state’s 100 miles of coastline on Thursday.

He signed an executive order that will free up state resources for emergency preparations and response and also prohibit price gouging for goods and services such as gasoline. 

The 500-mile cone of uncertainty indicates that the hurricane could be affect anywhere from coastal southern Georgia to the Florida keys. 

CNN reported that NASA moved a launch platform from the Kennedy Space Center to the Vehicle Assembly Building, about 3.5 miles away.

The $650million platform is the only one that is reportedly available for Space Launch System, the program to send astronauts back to the moon, and maybe even Mars. 

Residents in Brevard prepares for the approach of Hurricane Dorian. Crews place plywood on the windows of the Petco store in Viera

Residents in Brevard prepares for the approach of Hurricane Dorian. Crews place plywood on the windows of the Petco store in Viera

Residents across Florida have been rushing to supermarkets to collect food and supplies. A Walmart in Orlando is seen above

Residents across Florida have been rushing to supermarkets to collect food and supplies. A Walmart in Orlando is seen above

Several stores have reported rapidly dwindling supplies, including one Orlando Walmart that ran out of all plain water

Several stores have reported rapidly dwindling supplies, including one Orlando Walmart that ran out of all plain water

The state government has ordered an additional 200,000 gallons of water for preparing counties on top of the 860,000 gallons already deployed

The state government has ordered an additional 200,000 gallons of water for preparing counties on top of the 860,000 gallons already deployed

A resident fills gas cans in preparation for Hurricane Dorian on Thursday in Winter Springs, Florida

A resident fills gas cans in preparation for Hurricane Dorian on Thursday in Winter Springs, Florida

In Brevard County over 100 vehicles lined up at Thursday morning for free sandbags being filled by trustees from the Brevard County Jail

In Brevard County over 100 vehicles lined up at Thursday morning for free sandbags being filled by trustees from the Brevard County Jail

On Thursday morning Governor Ron DeSantis urged locals to stock up on seven days worth of food, water and medicine

On Thursday morning Governor Ron DeSantis urged locals to stock up on seven days worth of food, water and medicine

Residents across Florida have been rushing to supermarkets to collect food and supplies as several stores reported rapidly dwindling supplies. 

Home Depot has sent more than 160 truckloads of products to stores in the state so far, a company spokesperson said.  

One Walmart Supercenter in Orlando ran out of plain water on Thursday and now only has flavored waters and sports drinks available. The store’s canned food shelves are also thinning out fast.  

Josefine Larrauri, a retired translator, went to a Publix supermarket in Miami only to find empty shelves in the water section.

‘I feel helpless because the whole coast is threatened,’ she said. ‘What’s the use of going all the way to Georgia if it can land there?’

The state government has ordered an additional 200,000 gallons of water for preparing counties on top of the 860,000 gallons already deployed. It is also ready to distribute 1.8 million meals.

Stunning footage from outer space shows Hurricane Dorian in all its might, swirling towards Florida, where it's forecast to make landfall on Labor Day Monday as a monster Category 4 storm. This was shot from the International Space Station Thursday afternoon

Stunning footage from outer space shows Hurricane Dorian in all its might, swirling towards Florida, where it’s forecast to make landfall on Labor Day Monday as a monster Category 4 storm. This was shot from the International Space Station Thursday afternoon 

Hurricane Dorian is pictured Thursday in this satellite image as it barrels past Puerto Rico, sparing the island, and heads towards the northern Bahamas and Florida's east coast, leading Florida to declare a state of emergency

Hurricane Dorian is pictured Thursday in this satellite image as it barrels past Puerto Rico, sparing the island, and heads towards the northern Bahamas and Florida’s east coast, leading Florida to declare a state of emergency 

Most major airlines – including American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United – have issued travel waiver for portions of Florida and the Bahamas ahead of Dorian. 

The US military is also moving aircraft. The US Navy has moved more than 40 planes from its Jacksonville bases to bases in Michigan, Ohio and Texas, CNN reported.

And the US Air Force is moving 16 aircraft from its Tampa base to McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas.

The storm caused some flooding and power outages in the US and British Virgin Islands as it carved its way northwest across the Caribbean earlier this week.

Island-wide blackouts were reported in St Thomas and St John in the US Virgin Islands, along with scattered power outages in St Croix, government spokesman Richard Motta told AP. 

In addition, the storm downed trees and at least one electric post in St Thomas, Motta said, adding that there were no reports of major flooding.

‘We are grateful that it wasn’t a stronger storm,’ he said.  

A washed up boat lies on the shore after Dorian slammed St. Thomas of the Virgin Islands on Wednesday

A washed up boat lies on the shore after Dorian slammed St. Thomas of the Virgin Islands on Wednesday

Dorian battered the island of St Thomas on Wednesday, causing widespread power outages and leveling trees

Dorian battered the island of St Thomas on Wednesday, causing widespread power outages and leveling trees

Puerto Rico was hit with just a bit of rain as Dorian approached its northeast region but didn't make landfall. A flooded road in Canovanas on the island pictured above

Puerto Rico was hit with just a bit of rain as Dorian approached its northeast region but didn’t make landfall. A flooded road in Canovanas on the island pictured above 

Dorian passed to the west of Puerto Rico on Wednesday, brushing the islands of Culebra and Vieques but otherwise sparing the US territory from another disaster as it still reels from 2017’s Hurricane Maria. 

‘We’re happy because there are no damages to report,’ Culebra Mayor William Solís told The Associated Press, noting that only one community lost power.  

On Thursday morning, President Trump tweeted: ‘Puerto Rico is in great shape with Hurricane Dorian taking a largely different route than anticipated. Thank you to FEMA, first responders, and all, for working so hard & being so well prepared. A great result! The bad news, Florida get ready! Storm is building and will be BIG!

‘Hurricane Dorian looks like it will be hitting Florida late Sunday night. Be prepared and please follow State and Federal instructions, it will be a very big Hurricane, perhaps one of the biggest!’ 

Trump cancelled his upcoming trip to Poland, meant to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the country, in light of the hurricane and announced he’ll send Vice President Mike Pence in his place. 

‘It’s something very important for me to be here,’ he said. ‘The storm looks like it could be a very big one indeed.’ 

His remarks came one day after he was blasted for transferring disaster-relief funds to border control efforts. 

The Trump administration announced in July in a notification to Congress that it will move $155million from FEMA’s disaster-relief fund to pay for border enforcement efforts.  

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried – Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat – berated Trump on Twitter Wednesday, writing: ‘The President must be out of his mind if he thinks it’s a good idea to shift funds out of @FEMA for immigrant detention at the border while a potential Category 3 Hurricane #Dorian bears down on the United States.’ 

She added: ‘We don’t need those funds diverted to fuel a xenophobic agenda.’

President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday morning: 'Puerto Rico is in great shape with Hurricane Dorian taking a largely different route than anticipated. Thank you to FEMA, first responders, and all, for working so hard & being so well prepared. A great result! The bad news, Florida get ready! Storm is building and will be BIG! Hurricane Dorian looks like it will be hitting Florida late Sunday night. Be prepared and please follow State and Federal instructions, it will be a very big Hurricane, perhaps one of the biggest!'

President Trump tweet

President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday morning: ‘Puerto Rico is in great shape with Hurricane Dorian taking a largely different route than anticipated. Thank you to FEMA, first responders, and all, for working so hard & being so well prepared. A great result! The bad news, Florida get ready! Storm is building and will be BIG! Hurricane Dorian looks like it will be hitting Florida late Sunday night. Be prepared and please follow State and Federal instructions, it will be a very big Hurricane, perhaps one of the biggest!’

A man in Indian Harbor, Florida is seen putting aluminum panels on his house in to brace for Hurricane Dorian's impact

A man in Indian Harbor, Florida is seen putting aluminum panels on his house in to brace for Hurricane Dorian’s impact

Two Florida residents are seen putting aluminum panels on a house in Melbourne, Florida, on Thursday

Two Florida residents are seen putting aluminum panels on a house in Melbourne, Florida, on Thursday

Dozens of residents headed to this local gas station on Thursday in Miami to stock up on gas before the hurricane hits

Dozens of residents headed to this local gas station on Thursday in Miami to stock up on gas before the hurricane hits 

Florida’s most destructive hurricanes 

Hurricane Andrew: This powerful Category 5 Atlantic hurricane battered the Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana in August 1992.

At the time it was the most destructive hurricane to ever hit Florida where it made landfall with wind speeds as high as 165mph, killing 65 people and causing $27.3billion in damage.

Homestead Florida residents picking through the debris left in the wake of the deadly Hurricane Andrew on August 24, 1992

Homestead Florida residents picking through the debris left in the wake of the deadly Hurricane Andrew on August 24, 1992

Hurricane Irma: Irma was the strongest observed hurricane in the Atlantic causing at least 134 deaths in September 2017.

This Category 5 hurricane hit the Leeward Islands, the northeastern Caribbean and the Florida Keys.

Trees pictured bent in Hurricane Irma on Sept 10 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Trees pictured bent in Hurricane Irma on Sept 10 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Hurricane Michael: This category 5 hurricane was the first to strike the contiguous United States since Andrew in 1992.

The October 2018 storm killed 74 – including 59 in the U.S. and 15 in Central America.

It reached peak winds of 160mph before it made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida  

A damaged home in Mexico Beach, Florida pictured above in the wake of Hurricane Michael

A damaged home in Mexico Beach, Florida pictured above in the wake of Hurricane Michael 



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