Florida is currently in a state of emergency. Every one of Florida’s 67 counties is in preparation for what is expected to be the most colossal hurricane that has hit the east coast of Florida in the last three decades. The hurricane has been named Dorian and is the most powerful storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, coming in at 105 mph. It has been forecast to strike the East Coast as a Category 4 storm and expected to sustain winds approximating at 130mph. Some have even forecast that Dorian may even reach Category 5 status before it eventually makes landfall. This is a record-breaking storm since Hurricane Andrew of 1992.
Should the storm hit Florida’s coastline, it will be breaking yet another record – it will be the fourth year in a row that a hurricane has hit the area which is the most number of years in a row since way back in the 40s. In 2018, Florida had a tough time recovering from the devastation of Hurrican Michael, and this time around, they don’t want to take chances!
The state of Florida is in possession of 819,000 gallons of freshwater and has 1.8 million meals already prepared for distribution. Dorian has torn through the US Virgin Islands and soaked Puerto Rico in torrents of rain on Wednesday, the 27th of August, and traveled northwest the next day. By late Thursday, the hurricane had developed into a Category 2 storm.
It has been predicted that warm waters of the Gulf Stream will contribute to the storm strengthening over the weekend. By Sunday, the 1st of September, it has been forecast that Dorian will have made its way to the Grand Bahama Island and move along towards either the coast of Georgia or Florida by the morning of September 2. As it stands, the longer Hurricane Dorian lingers over these warm waters of the Atlantic sea, far from major land areas, the higher the chances of the storm strengthening.
Residents of Florida are urged to be prepared in advance, with a minimum of seven days worth of medicine and food at hand. Supermarket shelves are being wiped clean of supplies! In the meantime, major airlines have temporarily allowed for bookings to be moved to later dates. The US Navy is taking action, moving over 40 vessels and aircraft from its Jacksonville bases to Michigan, Texas, and Ohio to ensure that they are out of the reach of the winds of the hurricane. Even the US Air Force is taking action to evacuate its aircraft to other bases. Sea vessels like cruises and ships have to prepare for stormy seas as well as strong winds. College sports games and other events have had to be rescheduled with the prospect of the hurricane hitting the area by the beginning of the week.
President Donald Trump has had to cancel his upcoming trip to Europe, owing to the impending Hurricane Dorian. Trump has sent the vice president in his place, Mike Pence, to represent him in Poland. The President addressed this at a gathering held at the Rose Garden.
The International Space Station flew over the growing storm on the 28th of August, Thursday, and captured video footage of the swirling storm gathered over the northwest end of Puerto Rico. Of course, there are still several hours to go for Dorian to travel across the Atlantic, and the forecast is not set in stone. The storm is certainly being tracked, and updates will be available as the hurricane progresses.
While a state of emergency is certainly no joke, there is no harm in making light of a situation simply as a form of relief for residents. For example, a store by the name of Publix in St. John’s has used some humor in their cake decoration by designing a cookie with the path of Dorian in different colored icing. While the store hasn’t commented on the cookie, many residents may appreciate the comic relief that they took the time to provide for their customers as they all face the impending storm. A customer of the store posted a picture of the cookie on Facebook and captioned it, stating “Publix has all your hurricane party supplies”. Of course, some people were not to keen on the idea of making light of the storm that may cause severe devastation, but you can’t win them all over, can you?
Humor aside, it is best to follow precautions and stock supplies because who knows what destruction this storm might cause. We can only wait with bated breath and hope things will not be as bad.