Hurricane Dorian: Florida declares state of emergency as it waits storm's arrival

Satellite image of Dorian as Category 1 hurricane crossing over the U.S. and British Virgin Islands

Satellite image of Dorian as Category 1 hurricane crossing over the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. NOAA

Major airlines are allowing some passengers to re-book certain flights ahead of Hurricane Dorian, including Delta, American and Southwest. - Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday afternoon issued a state of emergency for 26 Florida counties in advance of Hurricane Dorian. As of 5 am, The National Hurricane Center says Dorian is about 150 miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico and has top sustained winds near 85 mph.

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, Dorian was moving northwest near 13 miles per hour and this general motion is expected to continue through Friday.

The hurricane did relatively little damage to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands this week, but now has moved over open water where it will likely strengthen over the open water.

Hurricane Dorian is on track to make landfall along Florida's east coast, but much of Georgia and SC could feel the impact, and remnants of the storm could reach into North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm is forecast to pass east of the Bahamas and approach Florida's Atlantic Coast late Sunday or Monday.

Category-1 strength winds bend palm trees as Hurricane Dorian slams into St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Before the storm, President Donald Trump sent a tweet assuring islanders that "FEMA and all others are ready, and will do a great job".

Restoration processes began around 4 p.m. local time in the St. Thomas and St. John districts, and about 25,000 power outages in St. Croix were restored around 7 p.m. local time Wednesday, Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Director of Communications Jean Greaux told CNN.

The hurricane is now setting its sights on the USA mainland as it threatens to grow into a unsafe Category 3 storm.

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Puerto Rico, still recovering from Hurricane Maria in 2017, expected the storm to exacerbate the existing damage to infrastructure, but the island was largely spared.

One man died after falling from the roof of his house while cleaning a drain in preparation for the storm, officials said.

"We are grateful that it wasn't a stronger storm", he said. Last month, the band pushed a New Orleans concert back by a day as Tropical Storm Barry approached the area. Later Wednesday, he declared a state of emergency for the counties that could be in the storm's path.

We're still not at the time frame where we can say where exactly Dorian will hit - if a USA landfall does occur at all.

The storm was a Category 1 hurricane Wednesday when it swirled through the islands of the northeastern Caribbean, causing power outages and flooding in places no major damage. She says distribution centers are now well stocked with bottled water and other necessities.

Several hundred customers were without power across Puerto Rico, said Ángel Figueroa, president of a union that represents power workers.

We also know that Dorian will take a few days before it makes a potential turn toward land, giving forecasters time to refine the outlook and people time to prepare.

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