Dorian is no longer a tropical storm and was now upgraded to a hurricane, impacting Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The hurricane could soon turn into a major cyclone, with a good chance of slamming Florida’s Atlantic Coast by Labor Day.
Dorian is now moving northwest in the Atlantic with sustained winds of up to 85 mph. By Friday it should strengthen, smack the northern Bahamas on Sunday and likely crash somewhere along the Florida or Georgia coasts on Monday with sustained winds around 125 mph.
“People have got to be ready before Sunday,” Ken Graham, director of the United States National Hurricane Center, said.
The affected areas in the US will feel tropical-storm force winds — at least 39 mph — on Sunday. And the center could pause before it runs into the land — potentially whipping cities with inches and inches of rain an hour.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis already declared a state of emergency for 26 counties and urged all residents on the coast to get ready for the storm.
“It’s important for Floridians on the East Coast to monitor this storm closely,” DeSantis said. “Every Florida resident should have seven days of supplies, including food, water, and medicine, and should have a plan in case of disaster.”
Dorian has cleared the Caribbean Sea, but not before lashing the British and US Virgin Islands — first as a tropical storm and then as a Category 1 hurricane — on Wednesday.
Local authorities declared a state of emergency as trees toppled and power lines went down on the islands.
And while the storm was strong, the response was swift. Restoration processes began around 4 p.m. local time in the St. Thomas and St. John districts, and about 25,000 power outages in St. Croix were restored around 7 p.m. local time Wednesday, Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Director of Communications Jean Greaux said.
“Within an hour of its passage, The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority mobilized crews to conduct a damage assessment. We immediately commenced restoration of service. Crews are now dispersed addressing isolated or pocket outages in a few locations,” Greaux said.
President Trump approved an emergency declaration in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Wednesday night. The president had declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico on Tuesday ahead of the storm’s expected arrival.