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Dorian Now Skirting Florida Coast, U.S. Southeast On High Alert

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Image from https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Hurricane Dorian has proven to be a very difficult storm to track. As of 8:34 a.m. today, Wednesday, September 4, 2019, the storm is pushing north as it pounds the coast of central Florida and appears destined for the Carolinas.

Initial forecasts had the storm hitting Puerto Rico, which is still recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria that struck the island in 2017. However, Dorian spared it and caused limited damage in the northern Caribbean.

The Bahamas were not as lucky. The storm moved very slowly and even stopped as it inflicted destruction for three days. Bahamas and relief officials were preparing for a major humanitarian crisis as a result. However, they are already saying that the storm is one of the worst to ever strike the region. At least five people have died, according to reports, but the total amount of the devastation is still unknown.

Videos recorded from the air showed flooded neighborhoods, crushed buildings, capsized boats and shipping containers thrown all over the territory.

Although the power utility that services the Bahamas, Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL), did not have information about outages, EyeWitness News reported that New Providence Island, which includes Nassau and 70 percent of the total population of the country, was totally blacked out. BPL reports that it has restored 80 percent of the power by 11 p.m. Monday, September 2.

At 5 a.m. east coast time on Wednesday, September 4, rains from Dorian were saturating the northeastern coast of Florida.

Dorian is expected to come dangerously close to the east coast of Florida as well as the Georgia coast through Wednesday night. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). It added that the storm would come near or over the South and North Carolina coasts Thursday, September 5 through Friday morning, September 6.

Now a category 2 hurricane, it had maximum sustained winds of about 105-mph early Wednesday.

Federal emergency declarations have been made for Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The governor of Virginia has also declared a state of emergency.

The hurricane is expected to continue its current strength for the next two days.

Debris blown into power lines caused power outages along the coast of Florida. Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) reported on Tuesday, September 3 that it had restored power to about 70,000 customers as Dorian’s outer bands hovered over the coast.

FPL, headquartered in Juno Beach, is the largest electric utility in the state. It services 5 million homes and businesses. The utility turned power back on at some sites quickly due to smart-grid technology. Utility crews worked on other areas.

As of noon on Tuesday, outages were reported to be 1,759 in Palm Beach County, 808 in Broward County and 532 in Miami-Dade County. By 3 p.m. on Tuesday, outages had risen to 2,224 in Palm Beach County. However, it fell to 565 in Broward and 779 in Miami-Dade. By 5 p.m. on Tuesday, outages had dipped to 1,014 in Palm Beach County, but rose to 675 in Broward. Outages also were reduced to 582 in Miami-Dade.

Residents of northern Florida were warned that outages could rise as Dorian tracks north.

MSNBC reports that power outages will occur from Georgia through Virginia as Hurricane Dorian travels north along the U.S. east coast.

Meteorologists have had problems tracking Hurricane Dorian because its forward speed has slowed more and more. If it had traveled as earlier predicted, it possibly would have hit east-to-central Florida and then gone into the Gulf of Mexico. However, because it is moving so slowly, the high-pressure system southeast of Florida broke down and was balanced with a high-pressure system over the southern U.S. causing the hurricane to meander more northward and eastward, skirting the Florida coast.

In addition, the National Hurricane Center uses a large number of software models that analyze different parameters that affect a storm. The combination of these models creates a “Cone of Uncertainty’ that gives meteorologists and the public an idea of the direction of the storm.

The models include:

  • Official Forecasts
  • Dynamical Models
  • Limited-Area Dynamical Models
  • Consensus Models
  • Statistical and Statistical-Dynamical Models
  • Experimental Models

(Source: Hurricane Forecast Model Output University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

With things like climate change affecting the strength and route of hurricanes, it is essential that residents or visitors to susceptible regions of the United States prepare with more focus on dealing with hurricanes and their aftermath.

Equipping your home and/or your business with a standalone generator will assure that you will survive hurricanes and their results.

Today’s generators include technologies like Wi-Fi, for easy and remote control whether you are at or near home or miles away.

Having a generator will ensure that a power outage won’t cause frozen foods or refrigerated medications from spoiling.

APElectric, located in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. offers a wide range of generators on its website.The products are made by some of the world’s greatest generation manufacturers including Cummins, Westinghouse, Kohler, Briggs & Stratton, Generac, and Guardian. The website also includes a generator sizing calculator and offers information on how to select the proper generator for your situation.