Latest track: Dorian may hit SC
Columbia, S.C. (ABC)—
Hurricane Dorian, now a powerful Category 4 with 145 mph winds, picked up strength early Saturday and also changed direction — with the current forecast showing a possible landfall in the Carolinas.
Dorian is now expected to move up the Southeast coast, bringing storm surge and gusty winds to coastal Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
The Charleston area could see up to 15 inches of rain.
“The coastline has expanded so we want to make sure that those residents in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina are definitely starting to make their preparatory actions,” Jeff Byard, associate administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery at FEMA, told “Good Morning America” on Saturday.
Federal teams are already in Georgia, Byard said.
Florida isn’t out of the woods yet, Byard added, and he warned residents not to “lose sight of the cone of uncertainty that this storm presents
“And even if it skirts the coastline as current forecasts have it, it’s gonna create a lot of rain, wind and damage all through Florida,” he said.
Earlier projections had Dorian making landfall in Florida on Tuesday as a monstrous Category 4.
Despite the new track, Floridians should still expect to see dangerous storm surge, hurricane-force winds and up to 10 inches of rain — and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is urging residents to “remain vigilant and prepared.”
“We will hope that the trend continues, but there is still significant chance of a strike on the state of Florida,” DeSantis said during a news conference Saturday morning. “Even if it doesn’t directly strike Florida, this is a big, powerful storm — you’re still looking at really significant storm surge” and “major flooding.”
Some evacuation orders in Florida remain in effect.
“A bump in one direction or the other can have really significant ramifications in terms of impact,” the governor warned. “Everyone should continue to monitor the storm and follow the direction from your local officials.”
We’re gonna continue to monitor the situation here in the state with fuel and traffic flows and take action as is necessary,” DeSantis said.
Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez on Saturday urged residents in South Florida to “prepare, wait and see.”
Dorian is “expected to be a powerful hurricane north of us” but “way too early to let our guard down,” he said.
As residents in the Southeast scramble to prepare, those in the Bahamas are bracing for a direct hit.
Storm surge up to 15 feet and very strong winds are forecast for Sunday night into Monday morning.
“Let me be extremely clear: Those who refuse to evacuate place themselves in great danger from this very powerful and potentially life-threatening hurricane,” Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Friday. “Do not be foolish and try to brave out this hurricane.”
Victoria Archer told ABC News she and her husband are riding the storm from home in the Bahamas.
Archer said she never worries and that she stocked up on supplies, water and food two weeks ago.
“I’m always prepared,” she said. “I got everything I need.”