Hurricane Dorian threatens disaster in the Bahamas as tropical storm watches issued for coastal Florida

Hurricane Dorian is set to pummel the northern Bahamas this weekend with potentially catastrophic wind and storm surge, hovering over the region for at least a day.

Posted: Aug 31, 2019 10:23 PM

(CNN) -- Hurricane Dorian is set to pummel the northern Bahamas this weekend with potentially catastrophic wind and storm surge, hovering over the region for at least a day.

The National Hurricane Center issued tropical storm watches Saturday for parts of coastal Florida as the Category 4 hurricane headed toward the United States, threatening the coastal Southeast, from Florida to North Carolina, next week.

With sustained winds of up to 150 mph, Dorian is expected to deliver its full wrath late Sunday and early Monday near the Abacos Islands and Grand Bahama, areas where some 73,000 people live. The storm was moving west toward the northern Bahamas at 8 mph Saturday evening.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis called for residents of those places to leave for shelters in the central Bahamas.

"If you wait until tonight, it will be too late," Minnis said Saturday. "Time is not on our side."

TRACK THE STORM

Models show the hurricane staying in the Bahamas for 24 hours or longer, lowering the storm's intensity before its makes a right turn and heads north, CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers said. He said it's "almost like using your blinker for 24 hours and than finally making the turn."

The tropical storm watches for the east coast of Florida stretch from Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet, the NHC said in an 8 p.m. advisory. The next advisory is expected at 11 p.m.

Dorian's forecast track has become murky for the United States. 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 South Carolina, with any landfall as yet uncertain.

Still, a major hurricane hovering just off a US coast could cause life-threatening damage.

"Understand: Even if it doesn't directly strike Florida ... you're looking at major flooding events," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters Saturday in Tallahassee.

Key developments

• Around 8 p.m. ET Saturday, Dorian was 155 miles east of Great Abaco, Bahamas, and 335 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida.

• The northwestern Bahamas -- including the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama -- will start feeling tropical-storm-force winds (39 mph and higher) Saturday night or Sunday morning. A hurricane warning is also in effect for the northwestern Bahamas, except for Andros Island.

• Life-threatening storm surges of 10 to 15 feet could crash Sunday into the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, the National Hurricane Center said.

• The northwestern Bahamas also could get 10 to 25 inches of rain, the hurricane center said.

• Dorian is expected to move across the Bahamas slowly, creating life-threatening conditions as "rain, winds and storm surge (keep) piling up," hurricane center Director Ken Graham said Saturday.

• Dorian's forecast track has shifted east since Friday, meaning a landfall in Florida less likely, but not out of the question.

• Fluctuations in the storm's intensity are likely but Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane over the next few days, the NHC said.

FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES

US Southeast coast expected to get walloped, with or without landfall

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

Current models anticipate the storm approaching Florida's coast -- but possibly staying offshore -- Monday morning into Wednesday morning. Tropical-storm-force winds could arrive in southeastern Florida by Sunday evening, the National Hurricane Center said.

If it stays far enough offshore, Dorian could spare Florida its most destructive winds, but drop plenty of rain.

"If we only get waves and a little bit of wind with this, we still will get tremendous flooding, but we're not going to get the wind damage ... of 150 mph winds like we saw" with Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Myers said.

Pete Werner said he is riding out the storm at home in Orlando but is sending his mother to Walt Disney World. He said it's the "safest place" to be in hurricane in Central Florida.

"Their hotels are built to exceed Florida building codes so they're built to withstand a category 5 hurricane," he said. "It's a self contained city."

Werner said he didn't want his 88-year-old mother to be sitting in the heat if she loses power.

"I'd rather her ride it out in luxury over at the BoardWalk," he said.

Dorian's center could move along the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas on Wednesday and Thursday, hitting areas with storm surges and heavy rain.

Officials have warned for days about the hurricane's potential impact in Florida, and residents have responded by stocking up on supplies and making evacuation plans. States of emergency have been declared in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Falisha Carter was prepared for the storm but said she was relieved it doesn't appear Dorian's eye will make landfall on Florida's east coast.

"I am happy that that the storm is curving," Carter told CNN in Vero Beach.

Carter had bought hot sauce to make a buffalo chicken dip out of the canned chicken she purchased during her hurricane preparation.

She smiled thinking about how good the chicken would be now without a hurricane.

President Donald Trump said he will attend a Sunday briefing at FEMA headquarters, where they will likely make decisions about whether to evacuate parts of Florida.

Dorian looks like it "can be an absolute monster," the President said.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Terre Haute
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 93°
Robinson
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 88°
Indianapolis
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 91°
Rockville
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 82°
Casey
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 91°
Brazil
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 93°
Marshall
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 93°
The Heat Continues
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 149574

Reported Deaths: 7273
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook930534651
Lake10039425
DuPage9392477
Kane7909276
Will6996322
Winnebago311897
McHenry214198
St. Clair2054138
Kankakee131265
Unassigned1177210
Rock Island107330
Madison105470
Kendall100622
Champaign97315
Boone61721
DeKalb58720
Peoria57429
Sangamon46233
Jackson34019
McLean28913
Randolph2887
Stephenson2806
Ogle2784
Clinton24317
Macon23822
LaSalle23317
Whiteside20015
Union19519
Coles17917
Grundy1765
Iroquois1675
Tazewell1548
Knox1490
Warren1470
Monroe13713
Cass1367
Adams1341
Williamson1334
Morgan1323
Jefferson10717
Lee1042
McDonough10215
Henry981
Pulaski800
Vermilion792
Marion700
Macoupin603
Perry581
Montgomery561
Douglas540
Livingston532
Christian474
Jasper477
Jo Daviess471
Ford401
Woodford372
Jersey361
Franklin340
Bureau312
Menard260
Mercer250
Washington240
Fayette233
Mason230
Wabash230
Alexander220
Carroll212
Johnson200
Piatt200
Effingham191
Hancock191
Moultrie190
Shelby191
Crawford180
Logan180
Bond171
Cumberland170
Clark150
Fulton150
Massac150
Wayne151
Schuyler130
De Witt120
Marshall120
Edgar110
Brown100
Saline100
Greene80
Henderson80
Lawrence80
White80
Richland70
Hamilton60
Stark60
Gallatin40
Pike40
Clay20
Edwards20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pope10
Putnam10
Scott10
Out of IL00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 48626

Reported Deaths: 2717
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11723689
Lake5212244
Elkhart332051
Allen2815132
St. Joseph198168
Cass16399
Hamilton1596101
Hendricks1414100
Johnson1288117
Porter73637
Tippecanoe7279
Madison66364
Clark66044
Bartholomew58944
Howard58057
LaPorte57926
Vanderburgh5706
Kosciusko5564
Marshall4926
Noble48428
Jackson4723
LaGrange4719
Delaware45050
Boone44943
Hancock44935
Shelby43025
Floyd38244
Morgan32931
Monroe30128
Montgomery29720
Grant29526
Clinton2892
Dubois2836
Henry28016
White26510
Decatur25532
Lawrence24625
Vigo2368
Dearborn23323
Warrick22129
Harrison21622
Greene19032
Miami1842
Jennings17612
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess14717
Wayne1426
Orange13523
Perry1359
Steuben1302
Franklin1268
Ripley1227
Jasper1212
Wabash1132
Carroll1102
Fayette1017
Newton9910
Whitley965
Starke933
Gibson872
Randolph804
Huntington782
Wells751
Jefferson722
Fulton711
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Owen491
Benton480
Sullivan451
Posey440
Spencer411
Blackford392
Brown391
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton311
Switzerland270
Martin230
Parke230
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193