Hurricane Dorian continued to batter the Bahamas at a torturously slow pace on Monday. With the storm inching toward the U.S. mainland, its outer bands reached Florida this morning.
High surf and rains have begun along the east coast from Miami to Fort Pierce, with further reach north expected as Dorian moves at a glacial pace of 1-4 miles per hour.
At issue is when, where and if the storm turns north. Most models expect Dorian to head up the coast; how close it gets to the mainland remains to be seen.
More than 1,000 flights have already been canceled as Labor Day has turned into exactly that—hundreds of thousands of tourists and residents working to escape what is still a Category 5 hurricane with winds currently at 160 miles an hour.
This happened on a weekend when Airlines for America airlines” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>predicted 17.5 million people would take to the air in a last fling before summer ended.
As of 10 a.m. ET Monday morning, 1,446 Labor Day flights in the U.S. have been canceled, virtually all of them at Florida airports. Fort Lauderdale International has canceled 64 percent of its total departing flights, Palm Beach International 63 percent and 28 percent at Orlando International.
Airports in Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale are scheduled to close later Monday.
Mandatory evacuations have been called for in 23 counties—being done by zones within those counties—in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, clogging the roads as it affects more than 1 million residents and tourists.
In South Carolina, lanes on I-26 in will be reversed to accommodate evacuees. All coastal areas of Georgia east of I-95 are under mandatory evacuation orders. Lanes of I-16 will be reversed starting 8 a.m. Tuesday to accommodate evacuees.
Hurricane #Dorian will bring powerful and potentially life-threatening storm surge that can continue even after a storm has passed. All Floridians should stay informed & alert.
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) September 1, 2019
The cruise industry has been changing itineraries at warp speed to avoid Dorian’s wrath. The United States Coast Guard has taken over the Port of Jacksonville and Fernandina effective at 8 a.m. ET Monday, meaning any ship movement must first be approved by the Coast Guard.
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