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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.

Cases: 612001

Reported Deaths: 7756
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1269201801
Ramsey53281911
Dakota47414477
Anoka43426465
Washington27780296
Stearns22738227
St. Louis18329319
Scott17747139
Wright16603153
Olmsted13567103
Sherburne1217096
Carver1078349
Clay830492
Rice8283112
Blue Earth772444
Crow Wing691299
Kandiyohi672285
Chisago629355
Otter Tail591987
Benton587798
Goodhue487274
Douglas480381
Mower478634
Winona465452
Itasca463768
Isanti447267
McLeod435861
Morrison429262
Beltrami411563
Nobles410950
Steele401619
Polk391272
Becker389957
Lyon366154
Carlton357158
Freeborn353134
Pine338123
Nicollet335045
Mille Lacs315756
Brown309140
Le Sueur301028
Todd289233
Cass288933
Meeker267344
Waseca241723
Martin237433
Roseau212721
Wabasha20873
Hubbard198741
Dodge19133
Renville184246
Redwood178741
Houston176016
Cottonwood168224
Wadena165223
Fillmore160110
Faribault157420
Chippewa154238
Pennington154120
Kanabec148028
Sibley147410
Aitkin140037
Watonwan13629
Rock129719
Jackson123112
Pipestone117226
Yellow Medicine115620
Pope11416
Swift107718
Murray107610
Koochiching96819
Stevens92611
Clearwater89517
Marshall89017
Lake85020
Wilkin84213
Lac qui Parle76222
Big Stone6114
Grant5958
Lincoln5863
Mahnomen5669
Norman5509
Kittson49222
Unassigned48393
Red Lake4037
Traverse3835
Lake of the Woods3504
Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 376815

Reported Deaths: 6122
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk59215646
Linn21567342
Scott20530250
Black Hawk16850320
Woodbury15378230
Johnson1479586
Dubuque13627215
Dallas1150699
Pottawattamie11393177
Story1092548
Warren594392
Clinton565894
Cerro Gordo564898
Webster546397
Sioux520574
Muscatine4956106
Marshall493679
Des Moines481776
Jasper454273
Wapello4402124
Buena Vista432340
Plymouth405782
Lee396958
Marion372378
Henry301737
Jones301357
Bremer294663
Carroll287252
Boone273735
Crawford273541
Benton264255
Washington261051
Dickinson251145
Mahaska235151
Jackson225943
Kossuth222166
Clay217927
Tama213872
Delaware213343
Winneshiek201337
Buchanan197834
Page195722
Cedar194323
Hardin192544
Wright191240
Hamilton189251
Fayette188943
Harrison182873
Clayton173258
Butler169135
Madison168019
Floyd165242
Mills164724
Cherokee162238
Lyon161241
Poweshiek159836
Allamakee156452
Hancock154034
Iowa149124
Winnebago147031
Calhoun144813
Cass142155
Grundy139733
Emmet137341
Jefferson135535
Sac133320
Shelby132238
Louisa130749
Union129535
Franklin129223
Appanoose128749
Mitchell127343
Chickasaw126017
Humboldt126026
Guthrie125332
Palo Alto115224
Montgomery106938
Howard105522
Clarke102624
Monroe101533
Keokuk100432
Ida93735
Adair90132
Davis88525
Pocahontas87022
Monona86731
Greene80011
Osceola79517
Lucas78323
Worth7648
Taylor67112
Decatur6649
Fremont64910
Van Buren57318
Ringgold57124
Wayne56623
Audubon53613
Adams3504
Unassigned80
Rochester
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Mason City
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