After walloping the Caribbean as a tropical storm, Hurricane Dorian is forecast to hit somewhere along the east coast of Florida this weekend.
And forecasters warn that Dorian could be a treacherous storm.
Along much of Florida’s east coast, as the storm approached, shoppers rushed to stock up on food and emergency supplies at supermarkets and hardware stores and picked the shelves clean of bottled water. Lines formed at service stations as motorists topped off their tanks and filled gasoline cans.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 26 counties in Dorian’s possible path and said he spoke with President Donald Trump on Wednesday evening about storm preparations.
Here are five things that make Dorian a dangerous hurricane:
It’s forecast to strengthen to a Category 4 hurricane
The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center said Dorian is expected to reach Category 4 strength as it approaches Florida over the weekend: “With lower shear and very warm waters, all of the intensity models forecast Dorian to begin strengthening again soon, and rapid intensification could occur. … Dorian is likely to reach major hurricane strength in the next day or two and is forecast to maintain that status until it reaches land.”
If it hits as a Category 4, with winds of 130 mph, the damage could be catastrophic: “Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls,” the hurricane center said. “Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed.”
A hit from a Category 4 hurricane means that “power outages will last for weeks to possibly months, and long-term water shortages will increase human suffering. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”