BREAKING NEWS LIVE STREAM 9 p.m.: High stakes for Trump, Biden heading into final debate Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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
70° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 70°
Robinson
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 63°
Indianapolis
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 70°
Rockville
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 64°
Casey
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 69°
Brazil
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 70°
Marshall
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 70°
Cold Front Friday
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

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

Confirmed Cases: 358799

Reported Deaths: 9605
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1681395382
DuPage21470603
Lake19856507
Will17354424
Kane15802344
Winnebago9464172
St. Clair7674215
Madison6893153
Champaign581928
McHenry5803120
Peoria433667
McLean396731
Rock Island376689
Unassigned3632260
Sangamon362661
Kankakee322478
Macon273349
Kendall252129
Tazewell247549
LaSalle223560
DeKalb216842
Coles182238
Williamson176159
Boone170925
Adams170115
Clinton166325
Vermilion15928
Jackson146226
Whiteside124125
Randolph119514
Knox118112
Ogle11217
Effingham11033
Grundy9037
Marion89116
Franklin8888
Jefferson88644
Monroe87328
Bureau86617
Morgan85424
Stephenson8517
Henry8107
Christian79426
Macoupin75110
Union74625
McDonough68716
Fayette65222
Lee6411
Crawford6366
Shelby61110
Livingston58610
Douglas5848
Montgomery57015
Woodford55814
Logan5534
Saline5119
Bond4809
Warren4677
Iroquois46419
Jersey46221
Wayne46111
Cass45311
Fulton4461
Jo Daviess4467
Perry41216
Moultrie3805
Carroll3728
Johnson3270
Richland32215
Lawrence3178
Clay29112
Clark28810
Hancock2884
Washington2861
Pike2814
Greene27615
Cumberland2606
Jasper25710
De Witt2463
White2421
Mason2391
Mercer2296
Pulaski2281
Piatt2200
Wabash2155
Ford18611
Menard1651
Edgar1468
Marshall1413
Massac1412
Henderson1150
Hamilton1132
Alexander1101
Gallatin1062
Brown1030
Edwards1010
Scott980
Putnam880
Schuyler831
Stark822
Calhoun670
Hardin500
Pope371
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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

Confirmed Cases: 152396

Reported Deaths: 4023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion24905785
Lake13380352
St. Joseph8985161
Elkhart8530132
Allen7978222
Hamilton6000113
Vanderburgh567560
Tippecanoe358714
Monroe322238
Hendricks3221130
Johnson3051128
Porter303648
Clark289161
Delaware284574
Vigo256038
Madison232493
Cass222822
LaPorte220958
Warrick190065
Kosciusko179224
Floyd177367
Howard160066
Bartholomew139758
Dubois136726
Marshall134226
Henry123429
Grant122639
Wayne122127
Boone119548
Hancock115645
Noble114633
Jackson109413
Morgan93040
Dearborn92828
Daviess85333
Gibson84911
Clinton82916
Lawrence82634
Shelby80330
LaGrange77715
Harrison74824
Knox72110
Putnam71616
DeKalb69911
Posey6896
Fayette61417
Steuben6118
Miami5875
Montgomery57822
Jasper5744
White57215
Greene52137
Scott51013
Decatur49939
Adams4815
Whitley4426
Clay4396
Sullivan42913
Ripley4278
Wells4205
Wabash4029
Starke3977
Orange38825
Huntington3805
Spencer3746
Franklin36625
Washington3632
Jennings36013
Fulton3472
Randolph3439
Jefferson3305
Pike32915
Carroll31713
Perry29714
Jay2946
Fountain2883
Tipton27023
Vermillion2251
Newton22211
Parke2223
Rush2084
Owen2031
Blackford1983
Martin1960
Crawford1531
Pulaski1481
Brown1303
Ohio1247
Benton1080
Union1060
Switzerland900
Warren761
Unassigned0233