Hurricane Isaias Live Updates: Storm Hits Bahamas and Churns Toward Florida

The storm surge could reach four feet in parts of eastern Florida.

Florida is preparing for winds as high as 75 miles per hour and dangerous coastal surf on Saturday as the season’s ninth named storm, Hurricane Isaias, makes its way north.

The storm, a low-level Category 1 hurricane, raked parts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and has begun to batter the Bahamas. It is on a path up the Atlantic coast toward the Carolinas.

The storm is expected to travel up the coast of Florida, which was already battling a surge of coronavirus cases. A hurricane watch was in effect early Saturday morning from Hallandale Beach to south of Boca Raton, and a hurricane warning from Boca Raton to Brevard County. There could be storm surges up to four feet high.

The storm is then expected to weaken and be off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina on Monday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Friday that state-run coronavirus testing sites, which are mostly housed under tents at outdoor venues, will be closed if they are within Hurricane Isaias’s anticipated path.

Many testing sites would be unsafe for lab personnel during the storm’s wind and rain, Mr. DeSantis said during a news conference on Friday. Labs run by private companies, hospitals and local county health departments will not be affected by the state’s closure.

The governor, a Republican, had planned to close all of the state’s testing sites from Friday to Wednesday. But the Division of Emergency Management eventually said it would keep testing sites open in counties that should be unaffected.

In Miami-Dade County, the center of Florida’s coronavirus outbreak, Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered the county-run sites to close from Friday until at least Monday.

The county has recorded more than 20,000 cases in the past seven days.

“We have thousands of tests that will not be conducted until we get these test sites up and running again,” Mr. Gimenez said during a news conference on Friday. “We have to put safety first.”

On Thursday, Florida recorded 253 deaths, the state’s most deaths in a single day. While the number of daily new cases has declined in the second half of July, the number of daily deaths has trended upward.

Forecasters predicted an active hurricane season, and it seems they were right.

Because of warm ocean temperatures and other conditions this year, weather experts said in May that there would probably be more than the average of 12 named storms.

The season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, is only one-third over, and Hurricane Isaias is already its ninth named storm, which requires maximum sustained winds above 38 miles per hour.

Source link