US

Hurricane Dorian Lashing Parts of Florida With High Winds, North Carolina Coast Evacuated

By The Associated Press

Winds are increasing along parts of Florida’s East Coast as Hurricane Dorian tracks offshore in the Atlantic.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says the Category 2 storm was centered at about 5 p.m. ET Tuesday about 105 miles  east of Vero Beach, Florida. Top sustained winds are at 110 mph and Dorian is moving to the northwest at 6 mph.

Forecasters say Dorian is expected to move dangerously close to the coast of Florida and Georgia from Tuesday night through Wednesday night before menacing the coast of the Carolinas Thursday and Friday.

The hurricane center has adjusted its forecast tracks closer to the coasts of South and North Carolina, noting “a track that close to the coast, even if landfall does not occur, is likely to bring dangerous winds, life-threatening storm surge, and flooding rains across the eastern portions of the Carolinas.”

The NHC has extended a hurricane warning from Savannah River to Edisto Beach, South Carolina and from the South Santee River in South Carolina to Surf City, North Carolina. Storm surge warnings have been extended to Surf City.

A storm surge watch has been expanded northward to Duck, North Carolina. A hurricane watch now extends to the North Carolina/Virginia border and tropical storm watch now reaches to the Chincoteague, Virginia, and for the southern part of the Chesapeake Bay, from Smith Point southward.

The hurricane warning from Sebastian Inlet to Jupiter Inlet in Florida has been reduced to a tropical storm warning and tropical storm warnings south of there have been dropped.

North Carolina Coast Evacuated

More than a quarter-million visitors and residents have been told to leave North Carolina’s coastal region ahead of Hurricane Dorian.

The most populous coastal county to be evacuated is Dare County, where 250,000 people, including 36,000 residents, have been told to get out.

In New Hanover County, where flooding cut off the city of Wilmington during last year’s Hurricane Florence, officials said they didn’t expect a similar issue from Dorian. They say the storm isn’t expected to dump as much rain and the ground isn’t as saturated as it was last year.

New Tropical Storm Forms

As Hurricane Dorian pounds the Bahamas, a new tropical storm has formed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Storm Fernand formed Tuesday afternoon, prompting a tropical storm warning for Mexico’s northeast coast.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says slow strengthening is expected before the storm moves inland. It’s centered about 160 miles east of La Pesca, Mexico, and is moving west near 7 mph.