Hurricane Isaias Nearing South Florida Coast Tonight

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 2, 2020

Hurricane Isaias will track through the Bahamas into Saturday and near Florida this weekend, before tracking up the East Coast as far north as New England next week.

The Hurricane Warning has been discontinued for Central Bahamas as of 9 am.

Residents cover a window with plywood in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Isaias, in the Heritage neighborhood of Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Friday, July 31, 2020.

Hurricane Isaias ripped shingles off roofs and blew over trees as it carved its way through the Bahamas early Saturday and headed toward the Florida coast, where officials in Miami said they were closing beaches, marinas and parks.

Meanwhile, officials in the Bahamas opened shelters for people in Abaco island to help those who have been living in temporary structures since Dorian devastated the area, killing at least 70 people.

The storm's maximum sustained winds declined steadily throughout Saturday, and were near 70 miles per hour (110 kph) at 5 p.m., when the U.S. National Hurricane Center downgraded it its status. The storm was centered about 195 miles (320 kilometers) south-southeast of Nassau in the Bahamas and was moving northwest at 15 mph (24 kph).

Paula Miller, Mercy Corps director for the Bahamas, told The Associated Press that while the islands can normally withstand strong hurricanes, some have been destabilized by the coronavirus pandemic and the damage caused by Dorian.

"With everything not quite shored up, property not secured, homes not prepared, even a Category 1 will be enough to set them back", she said.

A hurricane watch was in effect from north of Deerfield Beach northward to the Volusia-Brevard County Line. A hurricane watch was in effect from Volusia/Brevard to the Flagler/Volusia County Line and from south of Boca Raton to Hallendale Beach.

But he urged people to have seven days with of food, water and medication ready and said that state-run coronavirus testing sites in the areas where the storm could hit will be closed. "Safety is paramount for that".

Miami's mayor said social-distancing measures meant each person in shelters needed to have 40 square feet and no more cafeteria-style dining would be allowed.

In Daytona Beach and Polk County, authorities distributed sandbags and other officials advised people to have emergency provisions at home sufficient for three to seven days.

A hurricane warning was in effect for in the Bahames for Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, Abacos Islands, Berry Islands, Grand Bahama, Bimini, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, Mayaguana, Ragged Islands, Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, and San Salvador.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced late Thursday that he was relaxing a coronavirus lockdown as a result of the impending storm, but said a 10 p.m.to 5 a.m. curfew would be implemented starting Friday. He said supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and hardware stores would be open as long as weather permitted.

Stephen Russell, director of the Bahamas' Emergency Management Agency, said there were no plans to evacuate people, but he urged those living in low-lying areas to seek shelter. The track forecast could be off by about 200 miles over five days, the hurricane center said.

Miami-Dade will have tropical-storm-force winds, but slightly weaker than Broward county.

Isaias has already been destructive in the Caribbean: On Thursday, before it became a hurricane, it uprooted trees, destroyed crops and homes and caused widespread flooding and small landslides in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

A moto-taxi driver moves through a street flooded by rain brought by the outer bands of Hurricane Isaias, in the Tabarre district of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, early Friday, July 31.

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