As Hurricane Dorian skirts the Florida and Georgia coasts, a landfall in the Carolinas is not yet out of the question

Hurricane Dorian is churning Wednesday mor...

Posted: Sep 4, 2019 7:54 AM
Updated: Sep 4, 2019 8:45 AM

Hurricane Dorian is churning Wednesday morning off Florida, lashing the coast with heavy rain, surge and tropical-storm-force winds before it's expected to march toward Georgia and a potentially dangerous brush with the Carolinas.

The Category 2 storm has shifted slightly west, as predicted, teeing up what could be devastating flooding Thursday in Charleston, South Carolina. Storm surge there could be higher than 10 feet -- just 2 feet shy of the record set two decades ago by Hurricane Hugo -- CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.

Dorian's close proximity to the coast and the fact that its eye is 50 miles wide means that even if the storm's center doesn't make landfall along the southeast US, its eye wall -- with wind gusts of 100 mph -- could pass over land, particularly as Dorian heads north, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

'If this storm is 30 miles offshore, that means the Carolina coast does, in fact, get the eye wall,' he said Wednesday morning. 'It may not get the center of the eye, but who cares? The center of the eye is calm. It is the eye wall that is the most important part. And as it turns on up toward the north ... even if it's offshore, the eye wall could be very much onshore.'

Landfall is a distinct possibility Thursday from Charleston to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, CNN meteorologist Judson Jones said

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The Category 2 storm early Wednesday had sustained winds of 105-mph winds, and its rain bands moved onshore as it passed east of Cape Canaveral on the coast of northeastern Florida.

Power was out Wednesday morning to more than 7,000 of households and businesses in Florida, mostly in Brevard and Indian River counties, state emergency managers said.

Mandatory evacuations or other disaster preparations had been underway late Tuesday in eastern coastal counties in Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina and Virginia.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency, tweeting Tuesday night there was 'no more time for hesitation.'

'If you're in an evacuation zone you need to evacuate now,' he said.

On its way to the US, the hurricane swept over the Bahamas, devastating entire towns. The death toll was expected to rise sharply, with the storm already called the greatest national crisis in the country's history.

States have been preparing

Florida has been preparing for nearly a week for Dorian's uncertain impact.

Eleven Florida coastal counties were under mandatory evacuation orders Tuesday night as the state felt the storm's impacts.

'These potential impacts, including flooding, structural damage, storm surge and serious beach erosion in our coastal communities cannot be understated,' Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

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In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp issued a mandatory evacuation order for six coastal counties.

'We're looking at a 4 to 7 foot storm surge which is very high, higher than some of the more catastrophic storms that we've seen from a water perspective in the past,' Kemp said Tuesday evening.

'We need people to evacuate,' he said. 'This is not a storm to mess with.'

A major state interstate switched to a one-way evacuation route Tuesday as hundreds of thousands began evacuating the Georgia coast, CNN affiliate WSB reported.

Virginia also declared a state of emergency Tuesday, expecting possible flooding, storm surge, damaging winds and prolonged power outages, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management said.

'Current predictions indicate that it may affect parts of Virginia,' Gov. Ralph Northam said. 'I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure that localities and communities have the appropriate level of assistance, and to coordinate the Commonwealth's response to any potential impact from Hurricane Dorian.'

South Carolinians 'must leave now,' officials warn

South Carolina coastal areas will see life-threatening storm surge and dangerous winds, according to the hurricane center, 'regardless of the exact track of Dorian's center.'

The Carolinas aren't out of the woods yet in terms of landfall. The core of the hurricane could be 'very near, or possibly over, the coast of South and North Carolina on Thursday and Friday,' the hurricane center said.

The state's emergency management agency echoed those warnings.

Residents in designated evacuation areas must leave by Wednesday morning, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said.

'Due to the increasing threat of dangerous conditions such as storm surge and high winds, now is the time to heed the evacuation order issued by Governor Henry McMaster,' the agency said.

Charleston International Airport said on Twitter that it would suspend operations at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday until Friday morning, 'depending on weather conditions.'

The federal government also granted North Carolina Gov. Ray Cooper's request for a federal disaster declaration ahead of the storm Tuesday.

'North Carolinians have faced tough storms before and we're taking every precaution to make sure we're prepared,' Cooper said.

Earlier this week, the governor ordered evacuations from the barrier islands.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37624

Reported Deaths: 1503
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12150785
Ramsey4805226
Stearns234519
Dakota228690
Anoka2180107
Nobles16626
Olmsted110115
Washington106940
Mower9452
Rice8357
Scott7004
Clay58538
Kandiyohi5701
Wright4565
Blue Earth4532
Todd4002
Carver3641
Lyon3092
Sherburne3075
Freeborn2900
Steele2281
Watonwan2160
Benton2143
St. Louis17715
Martin1635
Nicollet15912
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1298
Winona12215
Crow Wing10612
Pine1030
Le Sueur981
Chisago971
Otter Tail931
McLeod880
Carlton850
Dodge840
Polk812
Chippewa781
Unassigned7637
Isanti720
Itasca6412
Waseca640
Douglas620
Meeker611
Morrison591
Murray580
Becker550
Faribault550
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pennington500
Pipestone371
Mille Lacs342
Renville322
Wabasha310
Brown302
Rock300
Yellow Medicine300
Beltrami290
Fillmore280
Houston250
Swift211
Norman200
Wilkin203
Redwood180
Cass152
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Roseau130
Marshall120
Grant100
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen81
Clearwater70
Hubbard60
Lake60
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30377

Reported Deaths: 720
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6332179
Woodbury320644
Black Hawk219658
Buena Vista170711
Linn124282
Johnson12388
Dallas123529
Marshall104119
Story7513
Pottawattamie71911
Scott71910
Wapello70530
Crawford6752
Muscatine62444
Dubuque62122
Sioux4600
Tama46029
Wright3771
Louisa36013
Jasper32117
Plymouth3135
Warren2641
Dickinson2602
Washington2349
Hamilton1871
Webster1712
Cerro Gordo1471
Boone1451
Clarke1292
Clay1280
Allamakee1264
Mahaska11517
Shelby1140
Clinton1051
Poweshiek1048
Carroll931
Pocahontas931
Bremer916
Des Moines862
Henry863
Franklin840
Cedar811
Emmet800
Taylor790
Cherokee751
Monona740
Floyd702
Marion680
Hardin670
Guthrie644
Sac630
Benton621
Jefferson590
Osceola590
Jones560
Harrison530
Humboldt531
Lee532
Butler522
Iowa510
Buchanan501
Monroe506
Hancock490
Calhoun482
Delaware481
Madison422
Lyon410
Clayton403
Davis391
Fayette370
Mitchell370
Winneshiek370
Mills360
Palo Alto360
Grundy350
Kossuth330
Lucas304
Greene290
Howard290
Chickasaw280
Jackson270
Union270
Winnebago270
Ida230
Cass210
Appanoose203
Keokuk201
Page200
Van Buren190
Worth170
Audubon161
Adair150
Ringgold150
Decatur110
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont70
Unassigned70
Rochester
Scattered Clouds
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Mason City
Few Clouds
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Albert Lea
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Austin
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Charles City
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