Hurricane Dorian intensifies as it heads toward US
Hurricane Dorian strengthened overnight, increasing its maximum sustained winds to 105mph making it a strong Category 2 storm.
Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane later today. The storm track has also shifted to the south, with the center of the track being just north of Juno Beach. The European model now shows Dorian approaching the coastline down near Palm Beach, but turning to the north and running up the east side of Lake Okeechobee. Either way, the current tracks have some of the most dangerous elements of Dorian coming to our immediate area.
All three county officials have started urging residents to get plans in place for the storm, especially when it comes to securing your property.
FPL is telling all its customers, now is the time to get your home prepared and be ready for power outages for an extended period of time following Hurricane Dorain. FPL is also preparing. They have 13,000 workers ready to go once the storm moves out of here. And as FPL prepares for the wrath of Dorian, the command center in Riviera Beach is now fully activated. They are monitoring Dorian’s every move and is lining up resources and deploying thousands of pieces of equipment once the storm passes.
Outside the Distribution Control Center, transformers are lined up and ready. There’s also 3-million gallons of biodiesel to fuel vehicles, and 75,000 miles of wire on hand to repair downed lines.
If you live on a barrier island, the rules to get back on the island after an evacuation have changed. You no longer need a re-entry placard. Now you simply need two documents that verify you live on the island. That could be a photo ID, plus a utility bill, insurance declaration, or a property tax statement.
Florida’s attorney general has already activated the state’s price gouging hotline as millions of residents prepare for Hurricane Dorian. This comes as Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 26 counties in the path of the storm, which includes the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach County. Under Florida’s laws, it is illegal to charge unconscionable prices for goods or services following a declared state of emergency. Individuals or businesses found guilty of price gouging could face fines up to $1,000 per violation, or up to a maximum of $25,000 per day. Florida’s Price Gouging Law only applies within the area of the declared state of emergency. You can report price gouging by calling 866 9-No-Scam, or by downloading a new reporting app called No Scam.
Generators fly off store shelves every time a hurricane approaches our area. But it is important to make sure you are operating a generator safely at your home. Consumer Reports has several pieces of advice to power your home safely. Never run a generator in an enclosed space or indoors. Most generator-related injuries and deaths involve CO poisoning from generators used indoors or in partially enclosed spaces — that includes the garage. Always place the generator at least 20 feet from the house with the engine exhaust directed away from windows and doors. Consumer Reports also recommends you use a carbon monoxide alarm and don’t run a portable generator in the rain. You can buy tents for generators that keep them shielded but still well-ventilated. Also, before refueling, turn off a gas-powered generator and let it cool. Stock up on extra gasoline and store it properly. You can also add a stabilizer to the gas in the can to help it last longer, but don’t store gasoline near any potential sources of heat or fire, or inside the house.
Schools in our area are open today. Students in Martin and St Lucie counties will be on early release and most after school activities have been canceled. All of the high school football games were pushed to last night in anticipation of the storm.