Dorian could be a Category 4 storm when it makes landfall Monday, CBS News weather producer David Parkinson reports. The storm could have maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.
Landfall could happen anywhere along Florida’s Atlantic coast, Parkinson reports. The storm rolled over the Virgin Islands Wednesday, hitting St. Thomas with wind gusts of up to 100 mph.
Puerto Rico escaped with no serious damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency was relocating teams from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland. Meanwhile, a state of emergency has been declared in Florida. People along the state’s east coast were rushing to load up on water, food and emergency supplies.
As of 11 a.m. EDT Thursday, Dorian’s center was some 220 miles north-northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico, as it headed northwest at 13 mph, the hurricane center said. Dorian’s sustained winds were 85 mph, with higher gusts.
Some stock up as others leave town
Some Florida residents are stockpiling supplies, while others are packing up and leaving the state ahead of the storm. The shelves were empty at one Publix in the city of Lake Worth
“We have three kids at home and a cat and just trying to prepare. We were very relaxed but everybody’s getting into it, so we wanted to make sure we got prepared,” resident Carrie Dorman told CBS Miami.
Others were making plans to leave. Tommy Ligorie and his daughter were trying to get back to New York, not wanting to stick around to see where Dorian ends up.
“Unfortunately I called this morning to see if we could get flights out and it was all booked up. And the flights I did find were unfortunately way high and we couldn’t afford it, so we have to take the route and driving back,” Ligorie said.
NASA captures images of Dorian from space
Video from the International Space Station shows the Category 1 storm around 1:05 p.m. ET as it moved across the Atlantic north of Puerto Rico. The space station shared video on its official Twitter account on Thursday.
— Peter Martinez
83 flights within the U.S. canceled
Airlines have canceled 83 flights to, from and within the U.S., according to FlightAware.com. Seventy-eight flights were canceled Thursday and five have been canceled for Friday.
The number of cancellations should increase closer to Monday morning as Dorian makes landfall on Florida’s east coast. Expect flights to and from Orlando, Miami and other airports in that area to be most affected.
— Kris Van Cleave
Florida governor declares state of emergency
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Thursday for all of the state’s 67 counties. On Wednesday, he declared a state of emergency only for counties that were expected to be in Dorian’s path.
DeSantis encouraged residents to gather seven days of supplies, including water, food and medicine. “If you’re in the path of this storm — anywhere on the east coast of Florida — make your preparations,” he said at a press conference Thursday. “Take action.”
DeSantis said people who live in the area where Dorian makes landfall should expect to lose power. “If you live in an area that experiences flooding, well, you’re looking at potential serious significant water and flooding because of this event, so prepare for that,” he said.
The governor urged people to listen to their local officials and follow any evacuation orders.
“Life-threatening flash floods” possible
The National Hurricane Center warned early Thursday that heavy rain from Dorian could cause “life-threatening flash floods” in parts of the Bahamas and southeastern U.S. coast.
The center forecast 2-4 inches of rain in some parts of the Bahamas, with six inches in isolated spots, and 4-8 inches with an upside of a foot in other areas of the Bahamas and coastal southeastern U.S.
Parkinson pointed out that, “With a new supermoon and the angle the storm is approaching from, widespread coastal flooding, including severe coastal flooding is likely. In addition, as the storm is coming in for landfall, it looks like it might lose some of the steering currents,” slowing it down and resulting in even more rain.
South Florida residents begin gathering supplies
Miami resident Lanada Means said she purchased plywood at Home Depot on Wednesday to begin preparing for the storm. “My daughter messages me on Instagram and asked me if I knew about the storm, and I didn’t, so I came here on my lunch break. Tomorrow is gonna be crazy,” she told CBS Miami.
Carol Brafman said she is buying enough supplies for five family members. “They come to my house because I have a generator,” she told CBS Miami. “We’ve been through [Hurricane] Andrew and the last one we went north to Carolina. It’s not easy. None of us know.”
— Justin Carissimo
Flooding and power outages in U.S. Virgin Islands
There were some reports of power outages and flooding in the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rican islands of Vieques and Culebra, the Associated Press reported. But Culebra Mayor William Solís said only one community lost power Wednesday.
“We’re happy because there are no damages to report,” Solís told the AP.
U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. closed schools and government offices and issued a curfew from noon Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday morning. “This means that only emergency responders and those providing essential services would be permitted on the road at this time,” he said in a statement. “We ask for the public’s full cooperation during this time.”
— Justin Carissimo
80-year-old man dies in Bayamón
Puerto Rican police said an 80-year-old man died in Bayamón on Wednesday as he made preparations ahead of the storm, the Associated Press reported. The victim fell from the roof of his home after attempting to clear debris off of it.
— Justin Carissimo
Tropical Storm Erin weakens to a depression
A tropical depression off the southeast U.S. coast, dubbed Erin by forecasters, strengthened into a tropical storm early Wednesday before weakening back to a depression later in the day.
As of 11 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Erin’s center was approximately 470 miles west-northwest of Bermuda and 190 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center reported. The storm was moving north-northwest at 13 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. It’s expected to move north and northeast out over the open Atlantic.