Florida tourism feels impact of hurricane

Thursday, 05 Sep, 2019

By midday Tuesday, Dorian had been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane, and forecasts were lessening the threat of a direct hit on Florida.

It will then move "dangerously close" to the coast of Florida, where it's forecast to bring strong winds and "life-threatening storm surges", according to the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC).

"As the world's humanitarian leader, the U.S. Government remains committed to providing life-saving assistance to people affected by this devastating hurricane", the USAID statement said.

Dorian - now downgraded to a Category 3 storm with 120 miles per hour winds - will remain stationary over Grand Bahama Island through late Tuesday morning when it will begin to head north, CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford said.

The "destructive" Dorian is "unprecedented and extensive", Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said on Monday. While this has been disgusting for the Bahamas, where the storm's pounding has been relentless, it may help spare Florida a bit, meteorologists said.

The storm's strongest winds are usually close to the eye.

This is making it expand and cause damage over a larger area, according to BBC Weather.

Images and videos posted to social media highlighted the extent of the damage caused by the storm.

"People heading to the Outer Banks, far eastern Virginia or Delmarva could still get tropical storm or hurricane conditions, probably for a shorter period of time toward the end of this week", Travis said.

The US Coast Guard airlifted at least 21 people injured on the Abaco islands, which Dorian hit on Sunday with sustained winds of 295kmh and gusts up to 355kmh, a strength matched only by the Labour Day hurricane of 1935, before storms were given names.

Thousands of homes were inundated by floodwater as rescue operations tried to reach stranded residents, some trapped on roofs or in ceilings.

In the extraordinary photo you can see Dorian's eyewall, which is a solid wall of clouds, with the sun shining brightly through a blue sky above.

"Some weakening is expected during the next couple of days", forecasters predicted, adding that "Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next few days" as it meanders north.

The exact track of Dorian remains unpredictable, making it hard to say whether it will make direct landfall or just a glancing blow.

Dorian's projected track as estimated by the NHC shows most of the Florida coast just outside the cone of potential landfall. The American Red Cross said they've already opened 170 shelters and evacuation centers and over 13,000 people are already at those facilities.