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Floridians Brace For Dorian As Hurricane Weakens To Category 3

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Hurricane Dorian has weakened from a Category 4 storm down to Category 3, now with winds of 120 miles per hour, but experts and officials say it’s too soon for Floridians to relax.

The storm stalled over the island of Grand Bahama for a day, staying in roughly the same position for 12 hours. Prime Minister Hubert Minnis described the storm as a “historic tragedy,” with five people confirmed to have died. Roughly 13,000 homes have been destroyed or seriously damaged.

Now, it’s setting its sights on the Eastern seaboard. There are already reports of flooding in Miami.

The storm has caused more than 1,300 flights to be cancelled across the US as of Monday. At least 1,000 cancellations were expected as of Tuesday.

Though Dorian has only just started to move on from Grand Bahama, some parts of Florida have already started to feel the storm’s impact.

Millions have been ordered to evacuate across Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. In Florida, where many people have been preparing for the hurricane since last week, many families have built up stockpiles of emergency supplies and food, according to CNN.

Some hurricane shelters in Stuart, Florida have already stopped accepting evacuees. “If they haven’t evacuated yet, it’s too late,” said CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam in Stuart.

“In fact, the shelters, the evacuation centers here in Martin County are no longer accepting evacuees. The causeway that connects the barrier islands where the mandatory evacuations have been under way since 1 p.m. yesterday are now closed,” Van Dam said.

Coastal areas like Stuart are already experiencing bands of rain and wind, though the storm is still roughly 100 miles away. The National Hurricane Center’s latest update is still focused on the Bahamas. Gusts north of 60 mph have been reported in Florida, and they will likely strengthen throughout the day on Tuesday as the storm moves closer.

Meanwhile, there are still many with serious injuries, and some who are unaccounted for, in the Bahamas.

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