Hurricane Dorian strengthens to Category 4 storm - U.S. forecaster

Hurricane Dorian strengthens to Category 4 storm - U.S. forecaster”

Hurricane Dorian has gained fearsome new muscle as an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm, bearing down on the northwestern Bahamas en route to Florida's east coast.

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, August 29, 2019.

Earlier in the week, Dorian pushed past the Puerto Rico and the US Virgin and British Islands, sparring the area from its worst effects.

As of 2 p.m. ET Monday, Dorian's maximum sustained winds remained at around 60 miles per hour.

Hurricane Dorian is becoming stronger as it makes its way up the Atlantic toward the Bahamas, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Ryan Truchelut, chief meteorologist at WeatherTiger, said most models show it hitting between Vero Beach and Boca Raton overnight Monday into early Tuesday.

The faint hope came on a day in which Dorian seemed to get scarier with each forecast update.

"Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km)", the NHC said in its 11:00 p.m. ET report. But forecasters cautioned that the storm's track remains still highly uncertain and even a small deviation could put Dorian offshore - or well inland.

Trump has declared a state of emergency in Florida and authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster-relief efforts. He told reporters that "Mar-a-Lago can handle itself" and is more anxious about Florida.

"Looking at these forecasts, a bump in one direction or the other could have really significant ramifications in terms of impact".

Trump canceled his plans to travel to Poland this weekend as the hurricane neared. The big cruise lines began rerouting their ships. Disney World and the other resorts in Orlando found themselves in the storm's projected path. Instead, Armesto made a decision to take shelter at her mother's hurricane-resistant house in Miami with its kitchen full of nonperishable foods. The cone of potential pathways still includes much of the state, and DeSantis says if residents are within that cone they should be prepared.

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

On Friday afternoon, the Bahamas Meteorology Department issued an alert on Dorian that warned the center of the storm "will move near or over the northwest part of the island on Sunday". Forecasters warned that its slow movement could subject Florida to a prolonged and destructive pummeling from wind, storm surge and heavy rain. "This rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods", NHC forecasters said. FEMA official Jeff Byard said Dorian is likely to "create a lot of havoc" for roads, power and other infrastructure.

In the Bahamas, canned food and bottled water were disappearing quickly from shelves and the sound of hammering echoed across the islands as people boarded up their homes.

A Saturday morning dispatch from the Bahamas Meteorology Department warned that a unsafe storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves up to 15 feet can be expected near the shores of Eleuthera, Abaco and Grand Bahama on Sunday into Monday.

"Do not be foolish and try to fearless out this hurricane", Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said. "You can't rebuild your life".

Florida Power and Light, which operates more than 77,248km of overhead power lines, activated its emergency response plan and will have almost 13,000 employees on hand to restore power after the storm, the utility said in a news release Friday. Four employees of the home were charged with manslaughter earlier this week.

"I think there's a pretty high degree of certainty that this is going to be a major hurricane", Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said in a news conference from the state emergency operations center in Tallahassee. The launcher is for the mega rocket that NASA is developing to take astronauts to the moon.

"Understand, even if it doesn't directly strike Florida, this is a big, powerful storm". Anything of or above Category 3 is considered a "major" hurricane. It was blamed for over 400 deaths.

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