Hurricane Dorian strengthened as it passed near the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas this Wednesday. Experts believe that Dorian may become a category 3 storm by the time it reaches Florida’s coast this weekend.
According to the National Hurricane Center, winds of up to 75 mph were recorded within Dorian’s reach when the hurricane passed by St. Thomas island on Wednesday.
Below is footage taken at St. John Inn in Cruz Bay. It is not entirely clear when the video was taken, but it was posted around 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
— Chris Heck (@Heckcb) August 28, 2019
The storm has prompted hurricane warnings for the entire U.S. Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands, including Vieques and Culebra, are also under a hurricane warning. Meanwhile, in Puerto Rico, a hurricane watch has been issued.
By Thursday or Friday, the storm is expected to reach the Bahamas.
Fox News Meteorologist Adam Klotz said that the storm is trending in the wrong direction, and will likely strengthen even more as it continues to travel over warm water.
Klotz suggested that this storm could go anywhere from Miami as far north as Savannah.
The National Hurricane Center has also said that their intensity models show that Dorian is getting stronger as it approaches the southern United States.
The NHC said that there is a risk of a dangerous storm surge along the Florida coast. The agency warned residents of the area to have a hurricane plan in place and prepare for the worst. For nearly 80 miles from the center, tropical storm force winds were being recorded.
Hurricane #Dorian is now moving north of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, where conditions will improve tonight. The hurricane will continue NW through Thursday night before turning WNW on Friday. pic.twitter.com/9Ti0CR3tbw
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 28, 2019
Roberto García, the director of U.S. National Weather Service in San Juan, gave a press conference on Tuesday to warn residents of the potential of massive winds across the entire island.
Several airlines have canceled dozens of flights at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan in response to the hurricane threat.
Many of the areas in the path of hurricane Dorian were devastated by Hurricane Maria two years ago, and have still not recovered from the brutal storm. Puerto Rico, in particular, is still without power in many areas, and in others, the power grid is extremely vulnerable and plagued with regular outages.
United States President Donald Trump has approved an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico, which will allow federal funds and resources to help local hurricane rescue efforts.
Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for the state of Florida in anticipation of the storm.
.@NHC_Atlantic is forecasting that #Dorian could be a major Hurricane. We’ve been monitoring this storm with @FLSERT and will continue to watch closely. All Floridians on the East Coast should have 7 days of supplies, prepare their homes & follow the track closely.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) August 28, 2019
The Florida Department of Emergency Management tweeted some advice, suggesting that residents should have up to 7 days of food and supplies in order to be fully prepared for the worst that a hurricane can bring. The Tweet also provided a helpful checklist, filled with a variety of different items that could be useful in the event of a serious hurricane or tropical storm.
Residents should have 7 days of supplies in preparation of hurricane #Dorian. A stocked supply kit has water, nonperishable food, prescription medications, flashlights and extra batteries. Here's a checklist to help you stock your kit. #FLPrepares pic.twitter.com/KRS7MLqZym
— FL Division of Emergency Management (@FLSERT) August 28, 2019
FEMA’s Elizabeth Litzow said that FEMA has more supplies on the island than the agency had for Hurricane Maria in 2017, according to CNN.