5 dead as Hurricane Dorian slams into the Bahamas

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6:07 p.m. ET, September 1, 2019

Broward County schools will close Tuesday

Schools in Broward County, Florida will be closed on Tuesday, Mayor Mark Bogen said Sunday.

The county remains under a tropical storm watch. Officials are also asking residents to conserve fuel at this time.

Here are more updates the mayor gave the community at a press conference this afternoon:

  • The court house will be closed on Tuesday.
  • No bus service for Monday; to be determined if they will be back on Tuesday. 
  • Government buildings, including libraries and parks, will be closed on Tuesday. 
  • As of 2 p.m. ET today, the county has four special needs shelters open.

6:57 p.m. ET, September 1, 2019

Jacksonville to order mandatory evacuations starting Monday

From CNN's Dianne Gallagher

A local state of emergency will go into effect at midnight in the city of Jacksonville.

Mandatory evacuations for zones A and B in the city will take effect at 8 a.m. Monday.

All city and government offices and Duval County schools will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Neptune, Jacksonville and Atlantic Beach will be closed starting tonight. St. Johns River water taxi has suspended service starting on Sunday.

City bridges will close when winds reach 40 mph. Shelters will open Monday at 10 a.m.

In Jacksonville Beach, Florida, the mayor is expecting a curfew. The sale of alcohol will be suspended in a few hours pending an announcement.

 

5:35 p.m. ET, September 1, 2019

Florida's St. Lucie County has roughly 210 people in shelters

St. Lucie County has about 210 people in shelters, Howard Tipton, St. Lucie County administrator, said Sunday afternoon.

"In the special needs shelter we have about 40 to 45 people," Tipton said in a Facebook Live press conference. 

Local government agencies will remain closed through Thursday, Tipton said. The Emergency Operation Center is currently at level 2, and will go to level 1 — the highest level of activation — tomorrow at 8 a.m. ET. 

5:27 p.m. ET, September 1, 2019

Florida school districts announce closures ahead of hurricane landfall

From CNN's Dave Alsup and Nick Valencia

School closures around Florida continue as Hurricane Dorian approaches the US.

Miami-Dade Schools will close Tuesday, according to a press conference officials held Sunday. 

Both Duval County Public Schools and St. Johns County Public Schools will close Tuesday and Wednesday, according to websites for both districts.

Brevard Public Schools will be closed through Wednesday, according to a tweet the district sent Sunday afternoon.

5:22 p.m. ET, September 1, 2019

New hurricane warnings and watches issued for parts of Florida

A hurricane warning has been issued from the Juniper Inlet to the Volusia/Brevard County line, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A hurricane watch has also been issued for the area stretching from the Volusia/Brevard to the Flagler/Volusia County line.

The new warnings and watches came in the NWS's 5 p.m. ET Dorian update.

In addition, a storm surge warning has been issued from Lantana to the Volusia/Brevard County Line and a storm surge watch has been issued from the Volusia/Brevard County Line to the Flagler/Volusia County Line.

Below is a summary of the watches and warnings currently in effect from the 5 p.m. NHC Advisory:

A storm surge warning is in effect for:

  • Lantana to the Volusia/Brevard County Line

A storm surge watch is in effect for:

  • North of Deerfield Beach to Lantana
  • Volusia/Brevard County Line to the Flagler/Volusia County Line

A hurricane warning is in effect for:

  • Northwestern Bahamas excluding Andros Island
  • Jupiter Inlet to the Volusia/Brevard County Line

A hurricane watch is in effect for:

  • Andros Island
  • North of Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet
  • Volusia/Brevard County Line to the Flagler/Volusia County Line

A tropical storm warning is in effect for:

  • North of Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet

A tropical storm watch is in effect for:

  • North of Golden Beach to Deerfield Beach
  • Lake Okeechobee

5:10 p.m. ET, September 1, 2019

Charleston mayor: 'This is a serious storm, y'all'

From CNN's Carma Hassan

Auxiliary pumps have been set up in parts of Charleston, South Carolina, that are prone to flooding, as the state prepares for Hurricane Dorian.

“Hurricane Dorian is sitting out there in the Atlantic, churning away, getting a little stronger. We've got our eyes on it and we are preparing for the worst and we're praying for the best,” Charleston County Council Chairman J. Elliott Summey said.

Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon reminded the public that “each one of these storms is different and it impacts us in different ways,” and said Dorian has the potential to be one of the worst storms in their recorded history.

“With sustained winds of 185 mph this could be the most powerful hurricane in reported Atlantic history,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said. “Admittedly it is a ways off. ...This is a serious storm, y’all and let’s get ready for it. Be prepared."

 

 

4:50 p.m. ET, September 1, 2019

More than 148,000 Floridians must evacuate St. Johns County

From CNN's Dave Alsup

There are roughly 148,500 residents in St. Johns County, Florida, under mandatory evacuation order starting Monday at 8 a.m. ET.

St. Johns County has issued mandatory evacuation orders for people in Zones A and B. These zones include the entire City of St. Augustine, St. Augustine Beach and those living on waterfront properties or flood-prone areas. A mandatory evacuation order has also been issued for people in Hastings and Flagler Estates. 

St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar expects the bridges near the evacuation zones to remain open to traffic until late Tuesday. The bridges may close at that time, Shoar said.

"This is a storm of storms,” Shoar said during a news conference Sunday.

4:29 p.m. ET, September 1, 2019

Cajun Navy in Florida to provide hurricane support

From CNN's Natasha Chen and Monte Plott

Members of the Cajun Navy and emergency workers place a nursing home patient on a boat during the evacuation of a nursing home due to rising flood waters in Lumberton, North Carolina, on September 15, 2018 in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
Members of the Cajun Navy and emergency workers place a nursing home patient on a boat during the evacuation of a nursing home due to rising flood waters in Lumberton, North Carolina, on September 15, 2018 in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

Todd Terrell, founder of United Cajun Navy, has 50 people stationed in Jacksonville, Florida, to bring in supplies as Hurricane Dorian draws near.

Terrell has partnered with a US Veterans Corps team out of North Carolina, who will be bringing high-water vehicles.

Another team is preparing in Kissimmee and St. Cloud to handle animal rescue.

The Cajun Navy is a grassroots citizens' organization that came together in the aftermath of another hurricane in a different state more than a decade ago.

In the devastation and deep water left by Hurricane Katrina, Louisianans took to their boats to help each other, and the Cajun Navy was born.

The Cajun Navy has since assisted in recovery efforts following numerous natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

4:09 p.m. ET, September 1, 2019

Trump doesn't think he's 'ever even heard of a Category 5' hurricane

From CNN's Devan Cole

President Donald Trump said Sunday that he's "not sure that (he's) ever even heard of a Category 5" hurricane, despite several such storms having threatened the US since he took office. 

"We don't even know what's coming at us. All we know is it's possibly the biggest. I have -- I'm not sure that I've ever even heard of a Category 5. I knew it existed. And I've seen some Category 4's -- you don't even see them that much," Trump said at a briefing with officials at FEMA's headquarters in Washington, DC. 

"But a Category 5 is something that -- I don't know that I've ever even heard the term other than I know it's there. That's the ultimate, and that's what we have unfortunately," he added, in reference to Hurricane Dorian.

The comments from the President came just before Dorian, a dangerous Category 5 storm, made landfall on the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas. The storm is the most recent of four Category 5 hurricanes to threaten the US since Trump assumed the Oval Office.

In September 2017, nearly eight months into Trump's presidency, Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest Atlantic basin hurricanes ever recorded outside the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, impacted at least nine US states. That same month, Hurricane Maria devastated the US territory of Puerto Rico, leaving behind an island that is still struggling to recover. 

Last October, Hurricane Michael, which was originally designated as a Category 4, barreled into the Florida Panhandle as the third Category 5 hurricane to blast the US since Trump took office. 

Trump has pledged to provide federal assistance to state and local officials to deal with Hurricane Dorian. 

It's not the first time Trump said he's never heard of a Category 5

Trump has previously indicated that Category 5 hurricanes are unprecedented weather events that either he or others had never heard of or witnessed. 

In the days between the landfalls of Hurricane Irma and Maria, he said he "never even knew" they existed and said days later that "people (in Puerto Rico) had never seen anything like" the storm. 

In October 2017, Trump claimed "nobody has ever heard of a (Category) 5 hitting land," and earlier this year, he again said he had never heard of a hurricane of that intensity. 

While the US has seen a number of Category 5 storms in recent years -- including Hurricane Katrina in 2005 -- scientists estimate that Atlantic hurricanes could become more common. And while researchers can't definitively say the climate crisis is leading to more intense hurricanes, scientists have found that rising sea levels due to global warming can further exacerbate the impact of Atlantic hurricanes.