Hurricane Dorian heads for the US mainland
Our live coverage has moved. You can find the latest updates on Hurricane Dorian here.
As of 8 p.m. Saturday, Hurricane Dorian was still moving west at just 8 mph, per the National Hurricane Center's updated advisory.
At that time the storm remained a Category 4 with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. That's just 7 mph shy of Category 5.
"Some fluctuations in intensity are likely," the hurricane center said, "but Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next few days."
A hurricane warning remained in effect for the northwestern Bahamas, and a hurricane watch was in effect for the Bahamas' Andros Island, the center said. A stretch of Florida's coast between Deerfield Beach and Sebastian Inlet was still under a tropical storm watch.
You can see more at the link in the National Hurricane Center's tweet below:
Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Georgia, is offering free admission to hurricane evacuees through Labor Day weekend.
Folks looking to take them up on the offer will need proof of residency or a valid ID from the Florida counties under evacuation orders, the theme park said in a Facebook post.
The park has welcomed hurricane evacuees in past years, according to spokesman Adam Floyd.
"We've seen first-hand how just a few moments of fun can put smiles on kids' faces and provide some relief for families who are going through a difficult time," Floyd told CNN. "That can make a real difference for families who have traveled a good distance and may not know exactly what is going on back home."
More than 100 evacuees visited the park on Saturday, Floyd said.
Evacuees can check this list of counties to see if they're eligible for free admission.
Gov. Roy Cooper has ordered emergency measures ahead of Hurricane Dorian, telling North Carolinians they need to be prepared for the storm.
The Governor's office said his executive order lifted restrictions on transportation to "ensure critical needs like fuel, medicine and water can get to those affected by Hurricane Dorian if it hits North Carolina" and “lifts restrictions on equipment needed to repair utilities and remove debris” to help mobilization after the storm has passed.
In a news release, Cooper said:
Now is the time to prepare and take Dorian seriously. This storm could cause serious damage and bring dangerous conditions to our state. I urge everyone to follow the forecast and listen to their local first responders.
See more in a tweet from Gov. Cooper below:
Martin County, Florida, won't issue a mandatory evacuation order at 10 a.m. on Sunday as originally planned, and shelters will not open, Martin Fire Rescue Chief William Schobel said during an afternoon press conference.
Schobel said beaches will remain closed. He also said evacuations will be re-evaluated Monday because Martin County won't see the impacts of Dorian until 6 p.m. that evening.
“It is still a dangerous storm, I don’t think we can exhale just yet,” Cpt. John Perez with the Martin County Sheriff's Office said.
Ginger Featherstone, deputy superintendent of the Martin County School District, said there will be no school Tuesday, but hopes they will reopen Wednesday.
A stretch of Florida's east coast, from Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet, has been placed under a tropical storm watch, according to the National Hurricane Center's latest advisory on Hurricane Dorian.
The advisory explained:
Given that the area of tropical storm force winds could expand, and taking into account the uncertainty in the track forecast, a tropical storm watch was issued for the east of Florida from Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet.
Tropical storm-force winds are expected in that area Sunday evening, though the center of the storm is still expected to remain offshore and not make landfall in Florida. Dorian could come close to the coasts of the Carolinas on Wednesday and Thursday.
Hurricane warnings remain in effect for the northwestern Bahamas, where Dorian is expected to bring destructive winds, storm surge and flooding rainfall on Sunday and Monday.
As of 5 p.m. Saturday, Dorian was about 170 miles east of Great Abaco Island in The Bahamas, the advisory said, and about 355 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida. The storm was moving west at just 8 mph.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez signed a declaration of a state of local emergency on Saturday afternoon, according to a news release.
The declaration will allow Miami's city manager to take whatever actions necessary to protect the community, the news release said.
It quoted Suarez:
Although Hurricane Dorian is taking a more northerly trajectory, we are taking precautions to respond to any safety or health hazards that may arise from possible tropical storm force winds, flooding and other conditions.
Check out a tweet from the Mayor below:
President Donald Trump is at Camp David this weekend, but he spent some time Saturday golfing at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.
The President received hourly briefings on Hurricane Dorian, according to White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham.
"He has someone traveling with him to specifically brief him on an hourly basis," Grisham said in an email Saturday afternoon.
The President had cancelled a diplomatic trip to Poland to monitor the storm’s progress.
It was better for the President to stay in the country, Grisham told the White House press pool. “We’re more nimble and all his agencies are here,” she said.
People in Dorian's potential path should not grow complacent, FEMA Deputy Associate Administrator for Response and Recovery David Bibo warned Saturday, calling the Category 4 hurricane a "long-duration nail-biter."
The storm is forecast to slow down near the Bahamas on Sunday before heading north toward Florida's east coast. People in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina should be prepared for strong winds and storm surges, Bibo said.
Since the storm's path could still change, FEMA is prepared to send food, water and other supplies wherever they're needed, officials said.