Tropical Storm Isaias heads toward Florida

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4:32 p.m. ET, August 1, 2020

The National Hurricane Center's next update comes in 30 minutes

The National Hurricane Center will provide its next update on Hurricane Isaias at 5 p.m. ET.

While the storm is heading toward the US, there is still uncertainty about where it will make landfall and how widespread the impacts will be.

Some of the models — like the American Model and European models below — slow the storm down as it impacts Florida. Others move it a little faster, taking it up the coast, into the Carolinas and all the way into New England.

4:17 p.m. ET, August 1, 2020

Isaias is a Category 1 storm. Here's what that means.

Hurricane Isaias is currently a Category 1 storm — but what does that really mean?

Meteorologists use the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to measure a hurricane's strength. The scale also estimates potential property damage.

Storms reaching Category 3 and higher are considered substantial hurricanes "because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage," the National Hurricane Center writes.

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)
3:55 p.m. ET, August 1, 2020

How Florida is bracing for a hurricane in the middle of a pandemic

From CNN's Jason Hanna and Amir Vera

Member of Florida House of Representatives Vance Aloupis (center) puts sand bags in a resident's car trunk in Palmetto Bay near Miami, on Friday as Floridians prepare for Hurricane Isaias.
Member of Florida House of Representatives Vance Aloupis (center) puts sand bags in a resident's car trunk in Palmetto Bay near Miami, on Friday as Floridians prepare for Hurricane Isaias. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Hurricane Isaias is continuing toward Florida, and the storm comes at a sensitive time during the coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, Florida marked the fourth consecutive day it reported a record number of Covid-19 deaths in the state at 257.

Florida closed some state-supported Covid-19 drive-through and walk-up testing sites on Thursday in anticipation of the storm.

Testing is shut down in Miami and will likely stay that way until Tuesday or Wednesday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told CNN Friday.

"That's going to be a gap in information for four or five days," Suarez said.

Here's what else Florida is doing to prep for a hurricane in the middle of a pandemic:

  • Safety at shelters: In Palm Beach County, Mayor Dave Kerner said a zone that primarily has mobile homes will be evacuated. The county will open six shelters Saturday morning at area schools and a recreation center, Kerner said. Kerner said the shelters would feature coronavirus precautions. Those taking shelter will have their temperatures checked, and will be divided into family units. Masks will be provided as needed and law enforcement will help enforce social distancing, he said.
  • Extra PPE: Thousands of kits with personal protective equipment are being sent to shelters in counties that are in the storm's path, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday.
  • Possible power delays: Power outages could last longer than usual because of the pandemic, Florida Power & Light spokesman Bryan Garner said. That's partly because restoration teams are taking time and space for health precautions, he said. They're social distancing, working in small groups, sanitizing equipment and going through temperature checks and health screenings, Garner said.
3:27 p.m. ET, August 1, 2020

Voluntary evacuation in place for some residents in Florida's Indian River County

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Indian River County, Florida, officials have issued a voluntary evacuation for residents in mobile homes or low lying areas ahead of Hurricane Isaias, according to a Saturday news briefing. 

Three shelters are open, in Port St. Lucie and Vero Beach, but emergency officials stressed that these should be used as a last resort because of Covid-19. Residents should try to shelter in place with family or friends before heading to shelters, officials said.  

Shelters will have proper social distancing, with 60 square feet being allocated for each person, instead of the usual 20 square feet per person, officials said. 

There is a possibility that barrier island bridges may close; emergency and local officials will determine if that is necessary depending on wind speeds and conditions, officials said. 

3:25 p.m. ET, August 1, 2020

What it's like in Fort Lauderdale today as Isaias approaches Florida

From CNN's David Williams

Suzi Watson-Roberson shot video of the winds and rain a band from Hurricane Isaias brought to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this afternoon.

Watson-Roberson — who is an NWS Storm Spotter and an amateur storm chaser from Brooklyn, Michigan — took the video around 2:15 p.m. ET.

She and her husband and son are planning to fly back home tomorrow.

Here's her footage:

3:15 p.m. ET, August 1, 2020

Florida's Kennedy Space Center visitor complex to close Sunday

From CNN’s Devon M Sayers

People walk through the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex hursday, May 28, 2020, at Cape Canaveral, Fla. The center reopened today after closing March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
People walk through the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex hursday, May 28, 2020, at Cape Canaveral, Fla. The center reopened today after closing March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) Charlie Riedel/AP

The Kennedy Space Center visitor complex will be closed on Sunday due to Hurricane Isaias, according to the center.

During the closure, visitors will not be allowed on the visitor complex grounds.

Read a tweet from the center:

3:00 p.m. ET, August 1, 2020

Here's where Hurricane Isaias is now — and where it's going next

Hurricane Isaias is current cover the Bahamas and it continues to head closer toward the US.

According to its latest 2 p.m. ET advisory, the National Hurricane Center believes the storm will continue as a hurricane as it approaches Florida today — but there is still uncertainty about where it will make landfall and how widespread the storm's impacts will be. 

The storm is expected to turn to the north either on or very near the east coast of Florida, so landfall is possible anywhere north of Boca Raton, where the hurricane warnings are in effect

Southeast Florida, including Miami, will see its worst weather overnight tonight and into tomorrow morning. Further north, much of the east coast of Florida could see hurricane conditions develop on Sunday as Isaias works its way from roughly West Palm Beach tomorrow morning to the Space Coast by Sunday evening.

Here's the latest forecast:

3:03 p.m. ET, August 1, 2020

Coronavirus positivity rate in South Carolina hits 18% ahead of Hurricane Isaias

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

A healthcare worker administers a coronavirus test at a drive-thru testing center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on July 17.
A healthcare worker administers a coronavirus test at a drive-thru testing center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on July 17. Josh Bell/The Sun News/AP

South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control announced an 18.5% positivity rate for new coronavirus tests in a press release Saturday.

The high positivity rate comes as Hurricane Isaias heads for the east coast of the US.

Gov. Henry McMaster announced Friday that the state would not issue any mandatory evacuations but encouraged residents to monitor weather updates and local warnings. 

By the numbers: There were 1,491 new confirmed Covid-19 cases and seven new probable cases were reported, the release from the department said. This now a total of 90,076 confirmed coronavirus cases and 523 probable cases in South Carolina.

1:59 p.m. ET, August 1, 2020

Cajun Navy is deploying a crew to North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Isaias

From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt in Miami

The United Cajun Navy is deploying a team to North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Isaias, according to United Cajun Navy spokesperson Todd Terrell.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the group of citizen responders and rescuers from Louisiana will respond during the 2020 hurricane season, but teams will be wearing masks, doing temperature checks and using other personal protective equipment, Terrell said.

The group is also deploying a drone team to Florida to follow the storm.