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Dorian to America: Here I Come

The hurricane eyes Florida while building toward Category 3
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2019 7:05 PM CDT
A woman poses for a photo backdropped by ocean waters and a Puerto Rican national flag, after the passing of Tropical Storm Dorian, in the Condado district of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Aug. 28,...   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
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(Newser) – For the Caribbean, it was bad but not crushing. For Florida, it's time to worry. That's the gist of Hurricane Dorian news Wednesday after the Category 1 storm caused flooding and power outages across Caribbean islands—including Puerto Rico—and grew closer to a Category 3 while churning toward the mainland, the AP reports. "All indications are that by this Labor Day weekend, a powerful hurricane will be near or over the Florida peninsula," said the National Hurricane Center, per USA Today. As for Puerto Rico, the wind and rain weren't too heavy, sparing the US territory a major blow after Hurricane Maria's destruction in 2017. An 80-year-old man died from a fall while climbing to his roof to move away debris.

A full blackout struck St. John and St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, where CNN photos show rooftop damage and blowing debris. "We are grateful that it wasn't a stronger storm," says a Virgin Islands spokesman. But with Dorian winds predicted to reach 111 mph as the storm moves across warm Atlantic water, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 26 Florida counties Wednesday, per the Florida Sun-Sentinel. County governments are handing out sandbags along the state's east-central coast as people brace for the Labor Day weekend storm. "I was hoping we'd get the summer off, but the Lord felt otherwise," says Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz. (Read more hurricane stories.)

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