Hurricane Dorian intensifies as it heads for US
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office has released a list of school districts, colleges and universities that are canceling classes ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
These are the school districts that have announced closures:
- Gulf County will be closed on Tuesday.
- Lake County will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Brevard County will be closed on Tuesday.
- Martin County will dismiss students early on Friday and be closed on Tuesday.
- Miami-Dade adult education classes will be cancelled starting at 6:00 p.m. on Friday.
- Orange County will be closed on Tuesday.
- Osceola County will be closed on Tuesday.
- Seminole County will be closed on Tuesday.
- St. Lucie will have early dismissal on Friday.
- Volusia County will be closed on Tuesday.
And these state colleges and universities have also announced closures:
- Broward College will close all campuses and partnership centers at noon on Saturday until further notice.
- Daytona State College closed at noon today and will remain closed through Tuesday.
- Eastern Florida State College closed at noon yesterday and will remain closed through Tuesday.
- Florida State College at Jacksonville will be closed Saturday through Tuesday.
- Indian River State College will close at 5:00 p.m. today until further notice.
- Palm Beach State College closed at noon today, and will be closed through Tuesday.
- Seminole State College of Florida will close on Saturday at noon until further notice.
- Valencia College will close at 5 p.m. today and remain closed through Tuesday, September 3.
- Florida Atlantic University closed at 12:30 p.m. today
- Florida International University canceled classes for today and tomorrow.
- Florida Polytechnic University will be closed on Tuesday.
- University of Central Florida will close at 5 p.m. today and remain closed through Tuesday.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been briefing by the director of the Division of Emergency Management and a state meteorologist.
Here are the key takeaways:
- No evacuations have been ordered at this time.
- Three FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Teams are on standby.
- Tennessee is sending six swift water rescue teams in preparation of the storm.
- The Florida Highway Patrol is conducting a mission to provide various fuel escorts to communities in need at this time.
- Florida transit officials have announced that the I-595 Express lanes will operate in the westbound direction beginning at 3 p.m. ET today until Hurricane Dorian has passed. Eastbound traffic will continue to use the general-purpose eastbound lanes throughout this period
Hurricane Dorian is currently a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph.
But the forecast indicates Dorian may be a Category 4 hurricane — with winds from 130 to 156 mph — when it strikes.
Here's why that matters: Meteorologists use the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to measure a hurricane's strength.
The system divides storms into five categories:
- Category 1: Winds 74 to 95 mph (Minor damage)
- Category 2: Winds 96 to 110 mph (Extensive damage — Can uproot trees and break windows)
- Category 3: Winds 111 to 129 mph (Devastating — Can break windows and doors)
- Category 4: Winds 130 to 156 mph (Catastrophic damage — Can tear off roofs)
- Category 5: Winds 157 mph or higher (The absolute worst and can level houses and destroy buildings)
This is what each category of a hurricane looks like:
Hurricane Dorian continues to strengthen in the Atlantic Ocean, with winds increasing up to 115 mph, making Dorian a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Hurricanes that are Category 3 or higher are considered major hurricanes.
Dorian is located 625 miles east of West Palm Beach Florida and moving northwest at 10 mph.
More about categories: Meteorologists use the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to measure a hurricane's strength.
The system divides storms into five categories:
- Category 1: Winds 74 to 95 mph
- Category 2: Winds 96 to 110 mph
- Category 3: Winds 111 to 129 mph
- Category 4: Winds 130 to 156 mph
- Category 5: Winds 157 mph or higher
Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis urged Bahamians living in vulnerable areas to not be “foolish” and try to ride out Hurricane Dorian.
“Don’t put your life and those love ones unnecessary risk. I urge you: Do not be foolish and try to brave out this hurricane," he said.
He said people need to evacuate as emergency personnel can’t be expected to risk their own lives to rescue them.
“Let me be externally very clear: Those who refuse to evacuate place themselves in great danger from very powerful and potentially life-threatening hurricane.”
Minnis said he and his cabinet met with agency officials on Thursday night “to map out the way forward."
The Bahamian prime minister announced all government offices are closed as of noon Friday.
Every county in Florida is under a state of emergency as the state prepares for what may be the strongest hurricane to hit its east coast in nearly three decades.
Dorian — which is currently a Category 2 storm — is forecast to make landfall as a Category 4 storm on Monday, with sustained winds of around 130 mph. If that forecast holds, it will be the strongest hurricane to strike Florida's East Coast since Andrew in 1992, according to CNN Meteorologist Brandon Miller.
Hurricane Andrew — which formed on Aug. 16 1992, and lasted until Aug. 28 — was originally believed to be a Category 4 storm, but was reclassified in 2005 as a Category 5.
The direct death toll was 26 people — 23 in the United States and three in the Bahamas.
Its path included northwestern Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana, and it caused between $25 and $27 billion in damage.
At least 25 members of the New York City Fire Department's Incident Management Team will head to New York on Sunday to help with hurricane logistics, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro announced today.
“New York City is ready to do whatever it takes to help those impacted by Hurricane Dorian,” said de Blasio said in a statement. “We are actively monitoring the situation in Florida and the FDNY Incident Management team will be assisting and coordinating with local first responders to ensure they have the support they need in the coming days.”
Dorian is currently spinning in the Atlantic Ocean with winds up to 110 mph.
So far, the storm has swept across the British and US Virgin Islands and whipped Puerto Rico with rain. It's expected to get even stronger over the next few days — with winds reaching up to about 130 mph — though it will likely slow down before it hits.
If Dorian continues on its current forecast, it will smack Grand Bahama island on Sunday before it makes landfall in Florida on Monday.
Remember: We're still a few days out, so the storm could land anywhere from the Florida Keys to southeast Georgia. CNN meteorologist Judson Jones predicted on Thursday that it could be between the Space Coast and West Palm Beach.
You can track the path of the storm here.
Cape Canaveral's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will be closed Sunday and Monday to prepare for Hurricane Dorian.
On Saturday, the visitor center will be open during regular operating hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Kennedy Space Center Bus Tours to the Apollo/Saturn V Center will be available until 2:30 p.m. Special Interest Tours will not be available.
During this closure, visitors will not be permitted onto visitor complex grounds, the space center said in a news release.
Planning a trip? For the latest updates visit KennedySpaceCenter.com.