By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Hurricane Dorian is pummeling the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm with a prolonged period of catastrophic winds and pounding waves. With maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour, at times topping 220 mph and around 20 feet of storm surge.
Yesterday, September 1st, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis received multiple briefings on Hurricane Dorian from Division of Emergency Management Director (DEM) Jared Moskowitz and State Meteorologist Amy Godsey.
“We have seen what Hurricane Dorian is capable of, and the First Lady and I extend our prayers to the people of the Bahamas,” said Governor DeSantis.
“As we continue to monitor this storm, all Floridians should follow local reports and heed the call for evacuations. We are ready to deploy assets as needed and will continue to monitor traffic and fuel levels as more counties come under hurricane watches and warnings.”
“Hurricane Dorian is the strongest storm to ever threaten the state of Florida on the East Coast,” said DEM Director Jared Moskowitz. “No matter what path this storm takes, our state will be impacted. We will continue to work around the clock to prepare.”
Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for coastal areas of Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties. It was announced that St. Johns, Brevard and Volusia counties will issue evacuation orders today.
To assist evacuation traffic, Governor DeSantis has directed the suspension of tolls on Florida’s Turnpike Mainline, and selected toll roads across the state.
A total of 2,272 Florida Guardsmen have been activated to State Active Duty for Hurricane Dorian response operations, with an additional 2,162 Guardsmen supporting in a variety of statuses, bringing the total number of responding Soldiers and Airmen to 4,434.
US. President Donald Trump tweeted: “In addition to Florida – South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated. Looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever. Already category 5. BE CAREFUL! GOD BLESS EVERYONE!”
However Alabama is not among those states that experts believe is threatened. Three other states – Florida, South Carolina and Georgia – are all ordering part or full evacuations of their coastal areas.
Trump also drew criticism for claiming again that he had never heard of a category 5 hurricane. Dorian is the fourth category 5 storm to make landfall in the U.S. – since he became president. The others were Hurricanes Irma, Maria and Michael.