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Here Comes Hurricane Isaias

The Sunshine State is closing beaches, parks, and virus testing sites
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 1, 2020 3:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Hurricane Isaias snapped trees and knocked out power as it blew through the Bahamas on Saturday and churned toward the Florida coast, where it is threatening to complicate efforts to contain the coronavirus in a hot spot, the AP reports. The storm is piling another burden on communities already hard-hit by other storms and sickness. Florida authorities closed beaches, parks and virus testing sites. Though officials do not expect to have to evacuate people, they wrestled with how to prepare shelters where people can seek refuge from the storm if necessary, while safely social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. "The most important thing we want people to do now is remain vigilant," said Gov. Ron DeSantis.

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Authorities in North Carolina ordered the evacuation of Ocracoke Island, which was slammed by last year’s Hurricane Dorian. Meanwhile, officials in the Bahamas opened shelters for people in Abaco island to help those who have been living in temporary structures since Dorian devastated the area, killing at least 70 people. Isaias had maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour at 2pm Saturday, a decline from earlier in the day, the US National Hurricane Center said. It is expected to regain strength as it heads over warm water toward Florida. The center of the storm is forecast to approach the southeast coast of Florida early Sunday morning and then travel along the state's east coast throughout the day. It is expected to remain a hurricane through Monday then slowly weaken.

(Read more Hurricane Isaias stories.)

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