Breaking News: Florida governor declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Isaias

Satellite animation of Hurricane Isaias in the Caribbean on July 31, 2020.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Friday afternoon for the state’s entire Atlantic coast as Hurricane Isaias heads toward the Sunshine State. This includes areas from Miami-Dade to Nassau counties.

Isaias is a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph as of 11 a.m. EDT Friday. However, the storm’s path and strength remain fluid, and Isaias could intensify to a Category 2 hurricane (winds of 96-110 mph) later Friday before likely going back to Category 1 just before approaching Florida on Saturday.

While the eye of Isaias may not make landfall in Florida, the center could stay close enough to the state’s east coast to produce at least tropical storm conditions. But a slight shift to the west would worsen the situation, leading to hurricane conditions.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) have issued a hurricane watch from Deerfield Beach northward to the Volusia-Brevard County line, and a tropical storm warning for Lake Okeechobee, and from Ocean Reef northward to Sebastian Inlet.

“I want Floridians to know, the state of Florida is fully prepared for this and any future storm during this hurricane season,” DeSantis said.

He stated that, as of now, it probably won’t be necessary to open shelters. But should that be needed, leaders are prepared to do so.

SONAR Critical Events: Friday, July 31, 2020, 11 a.m. EDT; Hurricane Isaias

DeSantis added that all Florida nursing homes have working generators and will be equipped to deal with any power outages.

He urged residents to have seven days worth of supplies and to stay tuned to local media for the latest forecast updates. DeSantis also said he may provide another Hurricane Isaias update later Friday evening.

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