Home Emergency Management News Hurricane Dorian May Be ‘Extremely Dangerous’ When It Reaches Florida
Hurricane Dorian May Be ‘Extremely Dangerous’ When It Reaches Florida

Hurricane Dorian May Be ‘Extremely Dangerous’ When It Reaches Florida

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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest

As Hurricane Dorian takes aim at southeastern Florida, officials are warning that the storm has strengthened to a Category 2 with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. But when it makes landfall late Monday or early Tuesday, Dorian could be a Category 4 and “extremely dangerous,” CBS News reported midday Friday.

Tropical-storm force winds are expected to reach Florida as early as Sunday.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane later today. It will remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane while it moves near the northwestern Bahamas and approaches the Florida peninsula early next week.

The NHC added that “Dorian is moving toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h). A slower west-northwestward to westward motion should begin tonight and continue into early next week. On this track, the core of Dorian should move over the Atlantic well north of the southeastern and central Bahamas today and tomorrow, be near or over the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday, and be near the Florida peninsula late Monday.”

Trump Authorizes State of Emergency for Florida

President Trump today approved a state of emergency declaration for the state of Florida. The declaration "authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts," the White House said in a statement.

“Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding,” the emergency declaration said.

Governor Warns Floridians Time Is Growing Short to Prepare for Storm

At a press briefing Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis warned Floridians that they still have time — though it is growing short — to prepare for what is expected to be Florida’s first major hurricane of the season.

“The bad news of this storm going slower is that it could have some negative impacts before it reaches landfall,” De Santis said, according to the Miami Herald. He warned that the storm could be a “multi-day event” as it churns slowly across the state.

Preparations Well Underway for Hurricane Dorian

News media are reporting long lines for gasoline with many stations already empty. In West Palm Beach, residents can check the city's website for up-to-date information on the hurricane’s path and strength, a hurricane preparedness guide and which gas stations still have fuel in the pumps. The information is printed also in Spanish and Creole.

Officials in Indian River County began taking down traffic signals at dozens of intersections ahead of Dorian’s expected landfall.

County officials told CBS12 News in West Palm Beach that traffic lights hanging on wires can become projectiles in heavy wind. Crews began removing the traffic lights on Thursday, working from the outer parts of the county toward the center. The lights will be temporarily replaced with “single-head fixtures” that place the red, yellow and green lights in a vertical row atop a single street-mounted pole.  The work was expected to take two days.

Employees at Folding Shutter Corporation in Riviera Beach said their phones have been ringing nonstop all week long for service in the Palm Beaches and the Treasure Coast, CBS News 12 also reported.

Experts say there is a right time to start considering installing hurricane shutters. "As soon as there is a warning," William Kramer, project manager at Folding Shutter, told Channel 12. "In most cases, that's three days out. That's gonna give you plenty of opportunity to secure your home."

Home Improvement Chain Enacts an Emergency Response Plan

Nick Bryant, a store manager at the Lowe's in Stuart, told CBS News 12 that whenever the store hears of a storm threatening an area, they enact an emergency response plan. “Employees will put essential hurricane supplies at the center aisles of the store, while constantly replenishing them.”

Supplies like batteries, generators and water were already running low, Bryant acknowledged. But he explained that the home improvement chain has a plan in place to make sure shoppers get what they need. "We activate our emergency command center in North Carolina," he said.

As a result, delivery trucks will come and go at the store for hours to restock inventory. "That helps get product replenishment in like generators, gas cans, water, those types of things," Bryant added.

David Hubler David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. In March 2017, Rowman & Littlefield published the paperback edition of David’s latest book, "The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation's Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever."