Hurricane Dorian Is On Course To Reach Florida As A Category 4

Hurricane Dorian Is On Course To Reach Florida As A Category 4

Hurricane Dorian is now expected to become a Category 4 storm with winds reaching 130 miles per hour before it makes landfall on Florida’s east coast, in what would be the first major hurricane to hit the area in 15 years.

President Donald Trump canceled a planned trip to Poland this weekend because of the storm, due to make landfall either Sunday night or Monday, two people familiar with the matter said. The hurricane’s center was located about 330 miles (535 kilometers) east of the Bahamas as of 5 p.m. New York time, moving northwest with sustained winds of about 85 miles per hour, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Dorian is expected to gain strength as it moves toward land. It’s still too early to say where it will hit — Florida’s governor expanded a state of emergency to 67 counties from 26, citing the “uncertain projected path.” The storm could impact counties with average insured values of $53 billion, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, while Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler with Enki Research, sees losses in the $10 billion range. Orange juice prices surged with estimates that about 60% of the state’s main orange-growing region could be affected.

As Dorian stays over warm waters on its way to Florida, the storm is forecast to reach Category 4 status, one below the most powerful measurement on the Saffir-Simpson scale, in 72 hours. “There is an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge along portions of the Florida east coast late this weekend or early next week, although it is too soon to determine where the highest storm surge will occur,” according to the National Hurricane Center.

A Category 4 hurricane can tear the walls and roofs off homes, snap most trees it hits and topple power lines causing outages that could last weeks or months, the hurricane center said. Areas in the storm’s direct path could be “uninhabitable for weeks or months.’’

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