Hurricane Dorian fast facts:
- Dorian has strengthened to a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph.
- Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday and remain dangerous through the weekend.
- Dorian is on track to make landfall in Florida early Monday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.
Hurricane Dorian strengthened to a Category 2 storm on Thursday night as officials said it is expected to hit Florida even harder than previously thought, prompting a widened state of emergency. The storm is on track to make landfall early Monday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane — it could be the strongest direct hit to Florida’s east coast since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Florida residents rushed to supermarkets across the states collecting food and supplies.
The National Weather Service said Dorian could bring a “triple-threat of dangers” to Florida — including “life-threatening storm surge, devastating hurricane-force winds and heavy rains.” They urged Floridians to “prepare NOW.”
President Trump on Thursday canceled a weekend visit to Poland to focus on the federal storm response.
The storm rolled over the Virgin Islands on Wednesday, hitting St. Thomas with wind gusts of up to 100 mph. Puerto Rico escaped with no serious damage.
As of 5 p.m. EDT Thursday, Dorian’s center was some 330 miles east of the southeastern Bahamas as it headed northwest at 13 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. Dorian’s sustained winds were 85 mph, with higher gusts.
Follow our live coverage of the storm below:
Dorian strengthens to a Category 2 storm
The National Hurricane Center‘s “Hurricane Hunter” aircraft has found Dorian has strengthened to a Category 2 storm. As of 11 p.m. ET, the storm has maximum sustained winds of 105 mph and is located about 295 miles east-northeast of the southeastern Bahamas.
The storm is moving to the northwest at 12 mph. If it keeps this track, Dorian should move over the Atlantic well east of the southeastern and central Bahamas tonight and on Friday, approach the northwestern Bahamas Saturday, and move near or over portions of the northwest Bahamas on Sunday.
The storm is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday and remain a dangerous storm through the weekend, the National Hurricane Center said.
It’s never too early to start preparing a hurricane kit
The National Weather Service is encouraging anyone in the path of the storm that it’s “never too early” to start preparing a hurricane kit.
CBS News has rounded up some emergency preparedness tips for people and pets, as well as a checklist of supplies to have on hand before a big storm arrives.
What supplies do you need to prepare for a hurricane?
Ahead of potentially devastating storms this hurricane season, the Red Cross recommends having the following supplies on hand:
- Water: At least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
- Food: At least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Multi-purpose tool
- Copies of personal documents (insurance policies, birth certificates, lease or deed to home)
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Emergency blanket
- Insect repellent and sunscreens
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Rain gear
University of Miami to suspend classes until Wednesday
The University of Miami said it has canceled classes at the Coral Gables, marine and medical campuses beginning at noon on Friday, August 30 through Tuesday, September 3.
The university also said it is putting storm shutters in place and positioning sandbags near doorways at those three campuses.
Their emergency information hotline has been setup: 1-800-227-0354
Florida governor deploying National Guard troops
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tweeted that he has activated more than 2,500 Florida National Guard troops as the state braces for Hurricane Dorian.
He added: “I encourage all Floridians to continue to monitor and heed all warnings.”
Trump posts video about “monster” Dorian
President Trump has posted a video on Twitter encouraging Florida residents to prepare for Hurricane Dorian as the government makes its own preparations.
In a video posted Thursday evening from the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Trump said Dorian initially appeared to be a small storm, but has grown quickly over the past day.
Mr. Trump said: “It’s looking like it could be an absolute monster.”
Florida power company secures 13,000 workers
Florida Power and Light activated its emergency response team Thursday, securing nearly 13,000 workers to help restore power. The state’s largest power company also urged customers to prepare for possible power outages.
“We’re actively working with other utilities from across the United States to secure additional crews and equipment and pre-positioning resources in advance of the storm’s landfall, so we are ready to respond as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of Florida Power and Light.
Georgia declares state of emergency in 12 counties
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has declared a state of emergency for 12 counties along the state’s coastline. The declaration, which went into effect Thursday, frees up state resources and prohibits price gouging for goods and services.
Air Force evacuates aircraft at MacDill Air Force Base
The U.S. Air Force has begun evacuating KC-135 aircraft at the MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa, CBS affiliate WTSP-TV reported. The planes were evacuated as a precaution and are expected to return when the storm passes. Officials do not expect to evacuate service members and staff from the facility.
“The safety of our service members, families, and aircraft are paramount,” said Colonel Stephen Snelson.
Rolling Stones reschedule Florida performance
Rolling Stones fans in South Florida will be able to get some satisfaction, just a day earlier than originally scheduled, CBS Miami reported. The Rolling Stones concert, scheduled for Saturday, August 31 at the Hard Rock Stadium, is being moved ahead to Friday night, August 30 because of the storm.
All tickets will be honored for the new date. Miami is the final stop on the Rolling Stones’ “No Filter” tour, which was already delayed once when Mick Jagger underwent heart surgery.
Kennedy Space Center prepares for Dorian
NASA civil servants and contractors at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida are bracing for high winds and rain from Dorian. Ahead of the storm, they are securing rocket stages, spacecraft assembly areas and even hauling a 6.7-million-pound mobile launch tower, designed for the huge rocket being built for the Artemis moon program, back to the cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building for safekeeping.
The 355-foot-tall gantry structure, carried atop a squat Apollo-era crawler-transporter, is scheduled to begin the 4.2-mile trip from launch complex 39B back to the protection of the VAB at dawn Friday — a journey that’s expected to take more than eight hours to complete.
The VAB was designed to withstand winds of 125 miles per hour without major damage. The highest wind ever recorded at NASA’s seaside launch pads during an earlier hurricane was around 115 mph.
— Bill Harwood
Trump cancels Poland trip ahead of the storm
President Trump on Thursday canceled his trip to Poland ahead of the storm. Mr. Trump made the announcement during a White House event launching the U.S. Space Command.
“To ensure that all resources of the federal government are focused on the arriving storm I have decided to send our vice president, Mike Pence, to Poland this weekend in my place,” the president said. “It’s something very important for me to be here.”
Mr. Trump said he would reschedule his Poland trip for some point in the not-so-distant future.
Residents 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 and north of Puerto Rico. The space station shared video on its official Twitter account 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.
CBS News weather producer David 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.
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