Dorian Pounds Bahamas as Hurricane Warnings are Issued for Florida Coast

Katie Ramirez
September 2, 2019

Many models show the storm staying just off Florida's coast Tuesday and then skirting the coasts of Georgia and North and SC.

Henry McMaster also ordered immediate medical evacuations on Sunday - including hospitals, nursing home, psychiatric facilities and assisted living, hospice and birthing centers.

To facilitate the evacuations, McMaster has ordered lane reversals on several major highways including I-26 from Charleston to Columbia and US 278 in Hilton Head starting noon Monday.

"Although the official track forecast does not show landfall, users should not focus on the exact track since a Florida landfall is still a distinct possibility", according to Senior Hurricane Specialist Richard Pasch's Sunday morning forecast discussion.

As of 8 p.m. ET, the storm was about 155 miles east of West Palm Beach, and a large stretch of Florida's eastern coast was under hurricane warning, from Jupiter Inlet north to the Volusia County line.

Once the storm finishes deluging the Bahamas it was expected to head toward Florida, where mandatory evacuation orders were issued. "Dorian will slow to a crawl and may not emerge from the Bahamas until sometime Tuesday when it begins to move more to the north".

Coastal areas in the Carolinas, however, are forecast to receive 5-10 inches, and 15 inches in isolated areas.

The northwestern Bahamas would take a beating until then, with possible storm surges of as much as 18 to 23 feet - enough to flood the island's many low-lying areas - along with more than two feet of rain.

Florida foreast winds and storm surge Dorian

There were two in 2017, when Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida before Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico.

Several highways will be suspending tolls to ease the evacuation efforts, the governor said.

No local impacts are expected from Hurricane Dorian, according to the National Weather Service in Mobile.

More than 600 Labour Day flights in the USA had been cancelled as of Sunday afternoon, many of them in Florida as Dorian barrelled towards the state's coast. That makes forecasting its path delicate and hard.

The Miami Herald reported that President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, which is located in Palm Beach County, is included in the mandatory evacuation.

The hurricane upended some Labor Day holiday weekend plans in the United States: Major airlines allowed travelers to change reservations without fees, big cruise lines rerouted their ships and Cumberland Island National Seashore off Georgia closed to visitors. It was the first time a Category 5 storm has hit the Bahamas since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

In a slow, relentless advance, catastrophic Hurricane Dorian keeps pounding the northern Bahamas this evening, as one of the strongest Atlantic storms ever recorded left wrecked homes, shredded roofs, tumbled cars and toppled power poles in its wake. That storm did not make landfall.

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