MIAMI – Hurricane Dorian, a Category 2 storm packing maximum sustained winds of 165 kph (105 mph), is lashing Florida’s east coast Wednesday as it takes a north-northwest track, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
The NHC said in its 1500 GMT public advisory that the storm was about 140 kilometers (90 miles) east-northeast of Daytona Beach, Florida, and 335 kilometers (205 miles) south of Charleston, South Carolina.
Dorian is moving off the Florida coast on a north-northwest track at 15 kph (9 mph).
“A turn toward the north is expected tonight, followed by a turn toward the northeast on Thursday. On this track, the core of Hurricane Dorian will move parallel to the Florida east coast and the Georgia coast through tonight. The center of Dorian is forecast to move near or over the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina Thursday through Friday,” the NHC said.
A storm surge warning is in effect from north of Port Canaveral, Florida, to the North Carolina-Virginia border, including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, and the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers.
The NHC has issued a storm surge watch from the North Carolina-Virginia border to Poquoson, Virginia, including Hampton Roads.
A hurricane warning is in effect from north of the Savannah River to the North Carolina-Virginia border, and Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.
The NHC has issued a hurricane watch from north of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, to the Savannah River.
A tropical storm warning is in effect from the Volusia-Brevard County line in east-central Florida to the Savannah River.
The NHC has issued a tropical storm watch from the North Carolina-Virginia border to Chincoteague, Virginia, and for the Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point south.
“A slow weakening is expected during the next few days. However, Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during this time,” the NHC said.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward from the storm’s center for about 110 kilometers (70 miles).
“The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline,” the NHC said.
No deaths have been reported in Florida from Dorian, but thousands of people have been evacuated from coastal areas and thousands of homes and businesses have lost power.
“These potential impacts, including flooding, structural damage, storm surge and serious beach erosion in our coastal communities cannot be understated. I appreciate the support we’ve had from President Trump, FEMA and our neighboring states that have deployed resources, and we will continue to work with all of our partners until the storm threat has passed,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management said 12,653 customers had lost power due to Hurricane Dorian, with Bradford, St. Johns and Volusia counties the areas most affected by the storm.
Some 8,000 people are being housed in storm shelters, state officials said Tuesday night.
Hurricane Dorian killed at least seven in the Bahamas, where it made landfall and battered the Abaco Islands, Grand Bahama and other islands in the northwestern part of the country.
Forecasters are now watching Tropical Storm Fernand, which formed in the Gulf of Mexico, and Tropical Storm Gabrielle, a tropical system out in the Atlantic Ocean.
Fernand is drenching northeast Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, but the storm is expected to dissipate on Thursday.
Gabrielle formed in the past few hours and is about 1,090 kilometers (680 miles) north-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands.
The NHC expects Gabrielle to gain some strength in the next 48 hours.