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Hurricane Dorian gains strength as Florida braces for potential ‘monster’ storm

Hurricane Dorian gains strength as Florida braces for potential ‘monster’ storm”

The storm strengthened into an "extremely dangerous" Category three in the afternoon and was expected to become a potentially catastrophic Category four with winds of nearly 140 miles per hour before blowing ashore late on Monday or early Tuesday. Ominously, the storm had developed a distinct eye and slowed its westward progress, meaning it could spend more time over land - and do more damage.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency in Florida.

Hurricane Dorian began as a Category 2 hurricane but was expected to be a Category 3 later.

Hurricane Dorian is anticipated to remain an extremely risky major hurricane while it approaches Florida into early next week, according to the National Hurricane Center.

On its current track, Dorian is expected to "be near or over the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday, and be near the Florida peninsula late Monday", according to the latest advisory from the NHC. "So when people detect a lot of lightning in a hurricane, they perk up - they say, okay, something's happening".

"We're doing all we can on the fuel", he said.

Given the slow nature of the storm, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted it could mean prolonged periods of intense weather for Florida. Supermarkets ran out of bottled water, and long lines formed at gas stations, with fuel shortages reported in places. 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. Storm surge could be made worse by extreme tides associated with the new moon, which fell on Friday.

Forecasters say Dorian will likely slow down considerably as it approaches Florida, allowing for heavy rainfall, unsafe winds and life-threatening storm surge to linger. Heavy rainfall and flash flooding were anticipated in all affected areas.

"It does seem nearly certain that it's hitting dead center and that's not good".

Despite uncertainty in the forecast, Florida residents are bracing for Hurricane Dorian to make landfall.

Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson said the city is monitoring the storm's path, and has members of Columbus' public safety and public works departments ready to deploy if needed. "It got pretty close last time for Irma".

"All residents, especially those along the east coast, need to be prepared for possible impacts", DeSantis said in a statement on Thursday. "It's too soon to tell".



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