Parts of Florida un­der hur­ri­cane warn­ing as Isaias hits Ba­hamas

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Danica Coto and Adri­ana Gomez Li­con

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO — Fore­cast­ers de­clared a hur­ri­cane warn­ing for parts of the Florida coast Fri­day as Hur­ri­cane Isaias drenched the Ba­hamas.

Of­fi­cials in Florida said they were clos­ing beaches, mari­nas and parks in Miami-Dade County be­gin­ning Fri­day night. Mayor Car­los Gimenez said the county had 20 evac­u­a­tion cen­ters on standby that could be set up with COVID-19 safety mea­sures.

“We still don’t think there is a need to open shel­ters for this storm, but they are ready,” he said.

But au­thor­i­ties in North Carolina or­dered the evac­u­a­tion of Ocra­cokeIs­land, which was slammed last year by Hur­ri­cane Do­rian, start­ing Satur­day evening. Mean­while, of­fi­cials in the Ba­hamas evac­u­ated peo­ple in Abaco who have been liv­ing in tem­po­rary struc­tures since Do­rian as well as peo­ple in the eastern end of Grand Ba­hama.

Isaias had maximum sus­tained winds of 75 mph Fri­day af­ter­noon and was ex­pected to strengthen dur­ing the night, the U.S. Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter in Miami said. The storm was cen­tered about 195 miles south-south­east of Nas­sau in the Ba­hamas and mov­ing north­west at 15 mph.

The hur­ri­cane knocked shin­gles off roofs in the Ba­hamian is­land of San Sal­vador as it carved its way through an ar­chi­pel­ago still re­cov­er­ing from Do­rian’s dev­as­ta­tion. Ba­hamas Power and Light Com­pany cut off power in cer­tain ar­eas for safety.

The Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter said heavy rains as­so­ci­ated with the storm “may be­gin to af­fect South and east-Cen­tral Florida be­gin­ning late Fri­day night, and the eastern Caroli­nas by early next week, po­ten­tially re­sult­ing in iso­lated flash and ur­ban flood­ing, es­pe­cially in low-ly­ing and poorly drained ar­eas.”

A hur­ri­cane warn­ing was in ef­fect from Boca Ra­ton, north of Miami, ex­tend­ing about 150 miles north to the Vo­lu­sia/ Bre­vard County Line. A hur­ri­cane watch was in ef­fect from the Vo­lu­sia/Bre­vard County Line to the Fla­gler/ Vo­lu­sia County Line and from south of Boca Ra­ton to Hal­len­dale Beach.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSan­tis said the state was “fully pre­pared for this and any fu­ture storm dur­ing this hur­ri­cane sea­son,” with stock­piles of per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment, gen­er­a­tors, bot­tled wa­ter and meals ready to be dis­trib­uted.

But he urged peo­ple to have seven days of food, wa­ter and med­i­ca­tion ready and said that state-run coron­avirus test­ing sites in the ar­eas where the storm could hit will be closed.

“Our sites, be­cause they’re out­doors with tents, if it were to get 40-, 50-mileper-hour winds, it would just col­lapse,” he said. “Safety is para­mount for that.”

Miami’s mayor said that so­cial-dis­tanc­ing mea­sures prompted by COVID-19 meant each per­son in shel­ters needed to have 40 square feet and no more cafe­te­ri­astyle din­ing would be al­lowed. Peo­ple who are in­fected with the new coron­avirus and need to evac­u­ate will be iso­lated in class­rooms sep­a­rate them from the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion, Gimenez said.


A man car­ries gas con­tain­ers ahead of Hur­ri­cane Isaias’ ar­rival Fri­day in the Ba­hamas.

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