Florida weather officials warned Monday that Hurricane Dorian — the Category 4 storm that continues to batter parts of the Bahamas with sustained wind gusts of 155 mph — is the strongest storm to ever threaten the state’s East Coast.
The storm — which weakened slightly to a Category 4 status late Monday morning — is currently about 105 miles east of West Palm Beach and is moving west at 1 mph. Millions of residents on the East Coast are watching to see if Dorian will turn north in the next two days and spare them with a direct hit. In the Bahamas, the storm is being reported to have claimed its first death — an 8-year-old boy in the Abaco Islands.
“No matter what path this storm takes, our state will be impacted,” said Jared Moskowitz, the director of Florida’s Department of Emergency Management. “We will continue to work around the clock to prepare.”
The storm’s current maximum sustained winds are 155 mph and hurricane warnings and watches are in effect for large portions of Florida’s eastern coastline. The National Hurricane Center said early Monday that Dorian is forecast to make a “slow westward to west-northwestward motion” over the next day or so, followed by a “gradual turn toward the northwest and north.
“On this track, the core of extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian will continue to pound Grand Bahama Island through much of today and tonight,” it added. “The hurricane will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast tonight through Wednesday evening.” – READ MORE