The Latest on Hurricane Dorian (all times local):
Across much of Florida’s east coast, residents are flocking to the grocery stores and gas stations, stocking up in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian, which threatens to hit over the Labor Day weekend.
There were lines at many gas stations in South Florida as people began filling gas cans and topping off their gas tanks.
Some residents using community Facebook groups provided updates on new shipments of water to restock the nearly empty shelves at local grocery stores.
On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for the state and advised residents along the entire East Coast to monitor Dorian closely. He said every Floridian should have “seven days of supplies, including food, water and medicine” on hand.
Hurricane Dorian is posing an increasing menace to Florida as it pushes over open waters after doing limited damage in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian is expected to grow into a potentially devastating Category 3 hurricane before hitting the U.S. mainland late Sunday or early Monday somewhere between the Florida Keys and southern Georgia.
President Donald Trump tweeted a warning about the storm, adding that “it will be a very big Hurricane, perhaps one of the biggest!”
The Hurricane Center projects the storm could have winds of 125 mph (200 kph) by the time it reaches the mainland. Also imperiled are the Bahamas, with Dorian’s forecast track running just to the north of Great Abaco and Grand Bahama islands.
Hurricane Dorian is moving over open waters after doing limited damage in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, though forecasters warn it is gaining strength and probably will grow into a dangerous storm while heading toward Florida’s east coast.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said late Wednesday Dorian is expected to strengthen into a dangerous Category 3 hurricane as it stays well to the east of the southeastern and central Bahamas over the next two days. The forecast calls for the storm to pass near or over the northern Bahamas on Saturday and close in on Florida by Sunday afternoon.
The storm was a Category 1 hurricane Wednesday when it swirled through the islands of the northeastern Caribbean, causing power outages and flooding in places no major damage.