close

News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

Trump declares emergency in Florida as hurricane Dorian approaches: White House

Hurricane Dorian approaches the coast of Florida, US. Photograph:( Reuters )

Agencies Washington, United States Aug 30, 2019, 11.05 PM (IST)

President Donald Trump declared that an emergency exists in the state of Florida, with Hurricane Dorian expected to make landfall as a life-threatening Category 4 storm over the three-day US Labor Day holiday weekend, and authorized US federal agencies to provide appropriate assistance for emergency measures, the White House said in a press release on Friday, news agency Sputnik reported. 

"The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures," the release said.

×

Dorian is expected make landfall in the US as a category 4 storm in the next 48 hours, with maximum sustained winds of 130–156 miles per hour, according to the NHC.

The latest bulletin from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned of 6-to-12 inches of rain in parts of Florida as Dorian passes over the state.

×

"This rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods," the NHC said.

In addition, the NHC has warned of a life threatening storm surge, first in the Bahamas and later in Florida, with water levels as much as 10 to 15 feet above normal tide levels.

Florida residents were bracing for a hurricane on Thursday that was threatening to smack into the center of the state over the Labor Day weekend, and President Donald Trump said it appeared the storm's winds would be "unbelievably high," news agency Reuters reported. 

Dorian gained power late on Thursday night, jumping from 85 mph (137 kmh) to 105 mph (165 kmh) and with higher wind gusts, making it a Category 2 storm on the 5-step Saffir-Simpson scale for measuring hurricane intensity.

Trump canceled a visit to Poland scheduled for the weekend and Florida's governor expanded a state of emergency to prepare for Hurricane Dorian, which is forecast to make landfall on the Atlantic coast Monday as a dangerous Category 4 storm.

"Now it's looking like it could be an absolute monster," Trump said in a video posted on Twitter, adding that food and water was being shipped to Florida.

"It does seem almost certain that it’s hitting dead center and that’s not good. The winds seem to be building at a tremendous rate. It looks like the winds are going to be unbelievably high.”

Florida's governor on Friday urged residents in the state to stock up on at least a week's worth of food, water and medicine and to prepare to lose power and cellphone service for days after Hurricane Dorian makes landfall early next week, news agency AFP reported. 

The slow march and rising intensity of the storm, which is moving in a northwestern direction to the Bahamas, has alarmed forecasters who worry parts of Florida will be walloped by strong winds, a storm surge and heavy rain for an extended period.

"I think there’s a pretty high degree of certainty that this is going to be a major hurricane," Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said in a news conference from the state emergency operations centre in Tallahassee. He said residents should prepare for a "multiday event."

 

Story highlights

Dorian is expected make landfall in the US as a category 4 storm in the next 48 hours, with maximum sustained winds of 130–156 miles per hour, according to the NHC.