By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – On Saturday, August 31st at 5PM the City of Miami Beach released a message from Mayor Dan Gelber that Miami Beach and much of South Florida is no longer under a hurricane watch. This is a huge relief for the area which has been undergoing tense preparations, as the storm closed in on Labor Day Weekend.
The statement said, “Although Hurricane Dorian continues to be a very serious storm, today’s 5PM update, fortunately, reflects a northern trajectory taking the storm even farther away from South Florida and the Florida coast. Both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties are no longer under a hurricane watch.”
Adding “While we still expect rainy, windy and stormy weather (and a few inches of rainfall) in our area over the next 48 hours, we will be significantly deescalating our recommended preparation while we continue to monitor the storm to assure nothing changes in the forecast.”
Adding, “You can expect our weather will likely be wet and windy, but not atypical from other summer storms and thunder showers.”
On Saturday, August 31st, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said, “While the storm’s path is generally more favorable compared to yesterday, we can’t let our guard down.”
“I appreciate the hard work of our local, state and federal emergency management professionals as we continue to do everything necessary to prepare for this storm. Floridians and their families along the East Coast should have a plan and continue to heed all warnings.”
“Hurricane Dorian is continuing to show us how unpredictable it can be,” said Division of Emergency Management (DEM) Director Jared Moskowitz.
“This morning the tracks shifted east and this afternoon they shifted once again west. It is vital that we continue to be prepared, that’s why we are continuing to work closely with our federal and local partners to stage and deploy resources to areas that may be impacted.”
The National Hurricane Center stated at 11PM last night that a prolonged period of life-threatening storm surge, devastating hurricane-force winds, and heavy rains capable of life-threatening flash floods are expected on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Sunday through Monday, and a hurricane warning is in effect for these areas.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for a portion of the Florida east coast. Since Dorian is forecast to slow down and turn northward as it approaches the coast, life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are still possible along portions of the Florida east coast by the early to middle part of next week.
The report says, “Residents should have their hurricane plan in place, know if they are in a hurricane evacuation zone, and listen to advice given by local emergency officials.”
There is an increasing risk of strong winds and dangerous storm surge along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina during the middle of next week. Residents in these areas should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian.
Heavy rains, capable of life-threatening flash floods, are possible over coastal sections of the southeastern United States from Monday through Thursday.