At a time when many Floridians would normally be scarfing down hot dogs and shotgunning beers, there is a collective lump in the throat of Sunshine State residents.
With Labor Day 2019 just a few dozen hours away, any plans to celebrate the national holiday have been dampened by Hurricane Dorian, dauntingly churning just off the coast. The massive storm spared much of the Caribbean, but at a price to Florida. The lack of landfall has allowed Dorian to gather strength over the warm waters of the South Atlantic, and the storm is picking up steam on its way toward the center of the America’s southernmost state.
Authorities are warning residents not to underestimate the power of this hurricane.
“All indications are it’s going to hit very hard and it’s going to be very big,” Trump said in a video he tweeted Thursday evening, comparing Dorian to Hurricane Andrew, which devastated South Florida in 1992.
The National Hurricane Center said the Category 2 storm is expected to strengthen into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 with winds of 130 mph and slam into the U.S. on Monday somewhere between the Florida Keys and southern Georgia — a 500-mile stretch that reflected the high degree of uncertainty this far out.
Some of the signals were mixed, however:
With the storm’s track still unclear, no immediate mass evacuations were ordered. Along Florida’s east coast, local governments began distributing sandbags, shoppers rushed to stock up on food, plywood, and other emergency supplies at supermarkets and hardware stores, and motorists topped off their tanks and filled gasoline cans. Some fuel shortages were reported in the Cape Canaveral area.
As the storm grows ever more frightening, we can expect local authorities to ramp up their efforts to keep Floridians safe.
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