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LIVE BLOG: Dorian expected to intensify to Category 4 storm before landfall

Posted: 2:46 PM, Aug 28, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-30 10:04:00-04
dorian scenarios

(WTXL) — Dorian has become a hurricane and could hit Florida as a Category 4 hurricane by early Monday.

Much of Florida is in the "cone of uncertainty" and there are a lot of "ifs' with the impacts we can expect in the Big Bend and South Georgia. Whatever happens, you should be prepared and continue to stay tuned to these updates below.

ABC 27's Storm Shield App will help keep you up to date and prepared for any severe weather threat - wherever you are. To download our WTXL News App and Storm Shield app to your mobile device before the storm, click the links below:

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Below is our live blog tracking Tropical Storm Dorian:

FRIDAY, AUGUST 30

8:08 a.m.:

7:25 a.m.:

With Hurricane Dorian heading toward Florida's East Coast, Florida Power and Light has activated its emergency response plan.

The company says in a news release that it has secured some 13,000 employees and additional personnel to help restore power after the storm hits.

5 a.m.:

The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center indicates that Dorian is slowing down but will likely intensify to a Category 3 major storm on Friday. The latest on Dorian's track here .

THURSDAY, AUGUST 29

11:15 p.m.:

Hurricane Dorian is now a Category 2 hurricane and is expected to continue strengthening over the weekend as it advances toward Florida. The latest on Dorian's track here .

9:29: p.m.

9:20 p.m.

AT&T plans to waive overage charges on mobile services, giving unlimited talk, text and data for AT&T wireless and AT&T PREPAID customers in affected areas in Florida from September 2 through September 8.

5:00 p.m.:

The 5 p.m. advisory still shows Dorian getting stronger, and possibly making landfall on Labor Day as a Category 4 hurricane. Full advisory here .

4:51 p.m.:

Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC) is continuing to monitor the path of Hurricane Dorian as a possible threat to their service territory of Madison, Jefferson, Taylor and Dixie counties.

"Should we be impacted by tropical storm force winds or Hurricane Dorian itself, TCEC crews will work to restore outages as quickly and safely as possible as long as weather conditions permit them to do so. Restoration efforts will continue as wind speeds drop below 35mph. Based on the current weather reports we are facing a significant storm that will require a significant amount of work in its aftermath. Members are advised to be prepared for extended power outages."

Crews from other electric co-ops are on the way to offer additional support as soon as Monday.

Cooperative personnel are available 24 hours a day. Members can report an outage through the following methods:

  • Call or Text – 800.999.2285
  • Download the TCEC Mobile App – TCEC FL

3:20 p.m.

Salvation Army teams on standby as Dorian approaches

2:56 p.m.:

Airbnb activates open homes program in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands for Hurricane Dorian through Sept. 15.

2:37 p.m.:

Governor Ron DeSantis declares a state of emergency for the entire state of Florida. More on that story here .

2:12: p.m.:

1:44 p.m.:

91 facilities across 11 U-Haul® Companies in Florida are offering 30 days free use of self-storage units and U-Box® containers to residents who stand to be impacted by Hurricane Dorian. You can read more on that story here .

12:44 p.m.:

We're learning all tickets purchased for the Jacksonville game will be 100% refunded. General admission tickets to FSU's opening game in Tallahassee are on sale now for $10. Students with valid IDs will also be admitted to the game free of charge.

More info on that story here .

11:26 a.m.:

11:05 a.m.:

The FSU-Boise State game scheduled for Saturday in Jacksonville will now be played in Tallahassee at noon.
More info on that story here .

11:00 a.m.:

The 11 a.m. advisory shows Dorian getting stronger, and possibly making landfall on Labor Day as a Category 4 hurricane. Full advisory here .

10:38 a.m.:

Governor Ron DeSantis is at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida to receive a briefing regarding Hurricane Dorian.

9:31 a.m.:

9:30 a.m.:

Statement regarding Hurricane Dorian from Amy Zubaly, the Executive Director of Florida Municipal Electric Association:

“While the forecast is still uncertain, it appears increasingly likely that Hurricane Dorian will continue to strengthen and have a significant impact on Florida. We have been in communication with all of Florida’s public power communities to discuss their needs following the storm and have already activated our national mutual aid network to line up additional resources for affected communities. Our coordination efforts will continue right up until landfall and we expect additional utilities to answer the call for support.

As we get ready our communities for the impacts of Hurricane Dorian, we encourage Floridians to do the same. Get a plan and be prepared.”

5:00 a.m.:

Tropical storm Dorian was officially upgraded to hurricane status Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Dorian currently has sustained winds of 85 mph and is moving northwest at 13 mph. It's moved into the western Atlantic Ocean, where it is expected to become a dangerous hurricane.

The hurricane is intensifying faster and moving slower.


WEDNESDAY, AUG. 28

8:00 p.m.:

Dorian is moving northwest near 13 mph and this general motion is expected to continue through Friday. On this track, Dorian should move over the Atlantic well east of the southeastern and central Bahamas on Thursday and Friday.

Dorian currently has sustained winds of 80 mph with higher gusts.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 80 miles.


5:08 p.m.:

Gadsden County will open a sandbag location Thursday as Hurricane Dorian continues to strengthen

A sandbag location will open for the community ahead of anticipated heavy rainfall on Thursday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Post Plant Pit, on 1090 Post Plant Road, Quincy, FL.

People are limited to 15 sandbags per household and are required to bring their own shovels. For elderly and special needs citizens, Gadsden County Public Works employees will be on hand to provide assistance.

To prepare for hazardous weather, sandbags are a simple and effective way to prevent or reduce floodwater damage. Monitoring weather conditions, Gadsden County will set up additional sandbag locations as needed.

More info here .


5:00 p.m.:

Tropical storm Dorian was officially upgraded to hurricane status Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Dorian currently has sustained winds of 80 mph and is moving northwest at 14 mph.

Dorian should continue to move near or over the U.S. and British Virgin Islands during the next several hours and then move over the Atlantic well east of the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday and Friday.


2:00 p.m.:

Tropical storm Dorian was officially upgraded to hurricane status Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Dorian currently has sustained winds of 75 mph and is moving northwest at 13 mph.

Dorian is expected to briefly make landfall on eastern Puerto Rico before moving across the Caribbean Sea. Forecast say the storm could make landfall in Florida or South Carolina over Labor Day weekend.


12:20 p.m.: Taylor County's Emergency Management officials say they will begin giving out sandbags Thursday at noon.

According to Emergency Management Director Kristy Anderson, the county will be sandbag distribution for Tropical Storm Dorian Thursday at noon.

The sandbags will be available at the following locations:

- Taylor County Public Works Department (587 US-27, Perry, FL 32347)

- Blue Springs Roll-off site (Blue Springs Lake Rd, Perry, FL 32347)

- Steinhatchee Roll-off site (738 SW 286 AVENUE, STEINHATCHEE, FL 32359)

The Taylor County Sheriff's office Division of Emergency Management says they will continue to monitor the progression of Tropical Storm Dorian. More info here .


11:02 a.m.: Royal Caribbean is closing its private island in the Bahamas, CocoCay, for a week and altering seven of their cruise ships’ itineraries to avoid Dorian.

The following sailings are impacted:

- Navigator of the Seas August 26, 2019:

The ship will remain in Nassau, Bahamas until Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 at 1:00 PM, and the rest of the itinerary will remain as scheduled.We are working to secure alternative ports for the below itineraries and expect to share updates with guests and travel partners by 3:00 PM EST on Wednesday, August 28th, 2019.

- Empress of the Seas August 24, 2019

- Symphony of the Seas August 24, 2019

- Mariner of the Seas August 26, 2019

- Navigator of the Seas August 30, 2019

- Mariner of the Seas August 30, 2019

- Harmony of the Seas September 1, 2019

As a result of the CocoCay closure, guests that pre-purchased Royal Caribbean International shore excursions for CocoCay will receive a refund to their onboard expense account in the form of a credit. If guests’ onboard spend does not reach this amount, the remaining balance will be refunded to their credit card on file.


11 a.m.: As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Tropical Storm Dorian had peak winds of 70 miles per hour and is roughly 25 miles southeast of St. Croix and is moving northwest at 13 miles per hour.

Dorian is moving toward the northwest and this motion is expected to continue for the next day or two.

On this track, Dorian should move near the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and then continue over the open Atlantic well east of the southeastern Bahamas.

Dorian is forecast to become a hurricane later Wednesday and continue strengthening during the next few days over the Atlantic waters.

Only a slow strengthening is anticipated while Dorian is moving through the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. However, once the cyclone reaches the western Atlantic well east of the Bahamas, it will encounter a favorable environment of low shear and warm waters, resulting in a more marked intensification.

The NHC forecast is more aggressive than the previous one, and brings Dorian to category 3 intensity by the end of the period. This forecast very closely follows the intensity consensus, the HCCA model, and the SHIPS guidance.

Hurricane conditions are expected in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Culebra, and Vieques Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are expected in Puerto Rico today with hurricane conditions possible.

Heavy rains are expected to occur over portions of the Bahamas, Florida, and elsewhere in the southeastern Untied States later this week and into early next week. Regardless of how it hits the U.S., NHC forecasts that the storm will bring four to eight inches of rain to the Florida Peninsula.

The storm could hit the east coast anywhere between Jacksonville and South Carolina.

Now is the time to review hurricane plans and have those in place in preparation any potential impact Dorian could bring to the southeast.


TUESDAY, AUG. 27

Here in the Big Bend, Florida State University fans are keeping a close eye on Dorian.

Many of you have reached out to us about what this storm could mean for Florida State's game this weekend in Jacksonville.

At this point, everything is on schedule for Saturday's match-up between Boise State and the Seminoles.

The Jacksonville Sports Council puts on this game and a spokesperson told us Tuesday "they haven't discussed canceling or postponing the game due to Tropical Storm Dorian. Right now, they're planning to proceed as normal."

We're told there will be a meeting Wednesday to discuss storm plans in more detail. If the track changes, the sports council says there is a plan in place.

We reached out to Florida State too, who said, "it's too soon to make any decisions, but when they are made, the safety of the student athletes and the fans will always be the top priority."

But again, for now, kickoff is still scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Saturday.


MONDAY, AUG. 26

Monday evening tropics check (08/26/2019)


SUNDAY, AUG. 25

Sunday evening tropics check (08/18/2019)