Isaias knocked out power and caused flooding and small landslides across Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on Thursday and now has strengthened into a hurricane as it begins moving into the Bahamas while heading for the U.S. East Coast. While storm surge watches are not now needed for this area, they may be required later today, if the forecast track shifts closer to the coast.
"While current projections have the eye of Isaias remaining at sea the situation remains fluid and can change quickly", the governor said.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday declared a state of emergency for counties on the Atlantic coast with Hurricane Isaias expected to hit the state as early as this evening before moving up north into early next week. "And I believe tropical storm force winds could extend inland to areas roughly east of the turnpike to Orlando, then up I-4 and I-95 to Jacksonville", said Huffman.
The Category One storm is now on its way to the Bahamas with maximum sustained winds of 130 km/h.
Isaias is expected to strike Florida over the weekend as authorities struggle to contain the disease and is now coursing through the Atlantic Ocean with wind speeds of 80 miles (130 kilometers) per hour, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center.
It was forecast to pass over the southeastern Bahamas during the night, be near the central Bahamas late Friday and move near or over the northwestern Bahamas and near South Florida on Saturday.
Hurricane Isaias is predicted to strengthen before nearing the USA coast this weekend.
Southern Florida is forecast to be hit by the storm in earnest around 8 a.m. Saturday when Isaias makes direct landfall over the Bahamas.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect from Hallendale Beach to south of Boca Raton, Florida.
The NHC said that the hurricane could produce a unsafe storm surge with water levels rising by as much as three to five feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore winds in the Bahamas. It is moving toward the northwest at about 17 miles per hour.
Heavy rains associated with Isaias may begin to affect the eastern Carolinas by early next week. People who are infected with the new coronavirus and need to evacuate will be isolated in classrooms separate them from the general population, Gimenez said. Some shelters will be open as an emergency precaution, but capacity in the shelters will be limited due to COVID-19 precautions.
We are in the midst of a pandemic and if we do not act responsibly, the consequences could be dire.
Miami-Dade and Broward counties also closed drive-through and walk-up testing sites for COVID-19, limiting an important tool for health officials on a day when the state - at the epicenter of the country's outbreak for weeks - reported a record increase in COVID-19 deaths for a fourth day in a row.
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