Hurricane Dorian Has 145 Mph Winds, May Hit US Later Than Expected

Florida prepares to open shelters as Hurricane Dorian approaches

FIRST ALERT: Hurricane Dorian winds strengthen; Landfall possible in Florida, Georgia or SC

While landfall is possible along the East Coast from Florida to the Carolinas, many models project it staying just off Florida's coast Tuesday, then skirting the coasts of Georgia and North and SC, with any landfall as yet uncertain.

Dorian may spare Florida from a direct hit and make landfall over SC on Wednesday or Thursday. A shift to the east in the models suggest Dorian could skirt the southeast coast, Live 5 Meteorologist Danielle Prinz said.

He added that even if Dorian doesn't make landfall in Florida, the state could still be affected by "really significant storm surge" as it heads north along the East Coast.

It was unclear where the hurricane would hit land, but the results were expected to be devastating: "Big-time impacts, catastrophic events, for some areas 140 miles per hour winds, not a good situation", said Graham. Forecasters still do not know the true path Dorian will take as it aims for Florida's eastern coast.

The declaration authorizes state and local emergency management agencies to mobilize assets and resources to be staged along the coast ahead of the potential impact from the hurricane.

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Still, there's a lot of uncertainty in the forecast, with the storm still days away from the United States coast.

"Sometimes if you evacuate too soon, you may evacuate into the path of the storm if it changes", Gov. Ron DeSantis said. Sailors assigned to Naval Station Mayport lay down mooring lines as the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ft. Brevard County and Martin County officials said residents of barrier islands, mobile homes and low-lying areas would be under a mandatory evacuation order beginning Sunday morning - though they could change. A hurricane warning is in effect for these areas, and residents should listen to advice given by local emergency officials and have their hurricane preparations completed today.

Homeowners and businesses rushed to cover their windows with plywood.

Early Saturday, Dorian was centered 445 miles (715 kilometers) east of West Palm Beach.

Also imperiled were the Bahamas, where canned food and bottled water were disappearing quickly and the sound of hammering echoed across the islands as people boarded up their homes.

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"Vendors are warned that Price Inspectors are now moving about New Providence and Grand Bahama and other islands in the Northwest Bahamas to monitor the sale of key items, such as water, batteries, flashlights, lanterns, gas, food items, etc for the violation of price related laws".

The storm is expected to move inland, where its slow pace could mean extended misery for communities facing high winds and rainfall.

Heavy rains, capable of life-threatening flash floods, are expected over portions of the Bahamas and coastal sections of the southeastern United States this weekend through much of next week.

On Friday afternoon, the Bahamas Meteorology Department issued an alert on Dorian that warned the center of the storm "will move near or over the northwest part of the island on Sunday".

"They're buying everything and anything that applies to a hurricane, flashlights, batteries, generators", said Amber Hunter, 30, assistant manager at Cape Canaveral's ACE Handiman hardware store. "The price you may pay for not evacuating is your life".

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