Hurricane Dorian to Intensify as it Heads Towards Bahamas, Florida

Hurricane Dorian is forecast to become a Category 4 hurricane, posing a major threat to the Bahamas, Florida and southeastern U.S.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says that “the risk of life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds this weekend continues to increase in the northwestern Bahamas.” Hurricane watches could be issued there tonight of Friday. The NHC adds “there is an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge along portions of the Florida east coast late this weekend or early next week, although it is too soon to determine where the highest storm surge will occur.”

Weather.com reports that Dorian is about 200 miles north-northwest of Puerto Rico with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. It adds that Dorian’s center is expected to track to the northeast of Turks and Caicos Friday. Saturday, it will bend towards the Bahamas, and from Sunday to Monday, Dorian will slow down and approach the southeast U.S.

Earlier this week, the storm passed over Caribbean islands, including BarbadosSt. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia. The good news: All of the islands seemed to have escaped major harm. 

Barbados reported no major issues following the storm’s passage on Tuesday. Reports included fallen trees, poles and power lines, water outages, along with one lifted roof. Public services, transportation and health care centers all resumed operations on Wednesday. “The system allowed us to mobilize and focus on some areas….  The work done on Sunday made a significant difference in our state of readiness,” Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said.

British Virgin Islands governor Augustus Jaspert announced a curfew beginning at 2 p.m. on Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday in order to prepare for the storm. In an update from Jaspert today, he said, “I am pleased to report that besides an invasion of sargassum on Anegada and minor landslides, everything else seemed to be in order.”

On Tuesday St. Lucia was given the all-clear by the National Emergency Management Organization. Hotels fared well with no damages to plant and property and all guests are properly cared for and are safe within their respective resorts. Additionally, the airports have resumed normal operations with arriving and departing flights and the road network has been deemed safe to traverse. The electricity grid remains intact and there are no reports of interruptions to the water supply.  

This week, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is playing host to the Sustainable Tourism Conference. Reports from the conference are that, like the other islands, Dorian didn't have an impact on the islands. 

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