Gov. Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 19-189 Wednesday, declaring a state of emergency for counties in the path of Hurricane Dorian. The governor is urging all Floridians on the East Coast to prepare for impacts. The latest forecasts from the National Hurricane Center project Hurricane Dorian will make landfall on Florida’s East Coast as a major hurricane.
By declaring a state of emergency, the governor is ensuring that state and local governments have ample time, resources and flexibility to prepare. The State Emergency Operations Center will activate to a Level 2 on Thursday morning, enhancing the coordination between federal, state and local emergency management agencies.
“Today, I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure Florida is fully prepared for Hurricane Dorian,” DeSantis said in a press statement. “It’s important for Floridians on the East Coast to monitor this storm closely. Every Florida resident should have seven days of supplies, including food, water and medicine, and should have a plan in case of disaster. I will continue to monitor Hurricane Dorian closely with emergency management officials. The state stands ready to support all counties along the coast as they prepare.”
Added Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, “Because of the uncertainty in the track of this storm, every resident along the East Coast needs to be ready. As updates come out, it’s important that Floridians continue to pay attention to media and local officials as the track of this storm has been changing and can continue to change rapidly. By having an executive order in place and by activating the State Emergency Operations Center to a Level 2, we are fully prepared to support any community that might be impacted.”
At 5:30 p.m. Wednesday the U.S. National Hurricane Center projected Dorian will become a dangerous hurricane as it enters warm Atlantic waters nearing the the southeastern United States.
A hurricane center advisory at 5 p.m. EDT said Dorian, which gained hurricane strength earlier Wednesday, is gradually moving away from the northeastern Caribbean Sea into the Atlantic basin. On Wednesday evening it was centered about 45 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of St. Thomas and had strengthened somewhat. Top sustained winds were being clocked at 80 mph (130 kph) and Dorian is churning to the northwest at 14 mph (22 kph).
The Miami-based center says Dorian should move away from the U.S. and British Virgin Islands in the coming hours. It's then expected to head out over the Atlantic well east of the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday and Friday.
Dorian is forecast to strengthen further and become "a powerful hurricane" in the next few days, says the NHC.
Follow @FLSERT and @GovRonDeSantis on Twitter for live updates.
Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org to find information on emergency preparedness, shelters, road closures and evacuation routes.