Tracking Hurricane Isaias: Live Updates


The storm is moving toward Florida’s coastline.

Florida was preparing for wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour and dangerous coastal surf on Saturday as Hurricane Isaias churned toward the state’s coastline.

The storm, a Category 1 hurricane, raked parts of Puerto Rico — killing one woman — and the Dominican Republic, and began battering the Bahamas early Saturday.

Forecasters said on Saturday that Isaias’s projected path had shifted slightly eastward, and could potentially make landfall over Palm Beach, Jacksonville and other coastal cities in the hurricane’s possible path.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency offered federal disaster assistance to the state on Saturday, a move approved by President Trump, the agency announced in a statement.

In Florida, a hurricane warning remained in effect from Boca Raton to the northern edge of Volusia County, which includes Daytona Beach. A hurricane watch also remained in effect from southern Broward County to south of Boca Raton. There could be storm surges up to four feet high.

In Puerto Rico, a woman drowned when storms formed by Hurricane Isaias dragged her away in her car in the municipality of Rincón, in the northwest of the island, the Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety announced Saturday in a statement. The woman had gone missing on Thursday, the authorities said.

The storm is expected to weaken be off the coast of Georgia on Monday morning, and off the coast of South Carolina by Monday evening.

Still, county officials on Friday urged residents to stay home and avoid congregating in settings like shelters, if possible. For those living in less stable housing, such as mobile homes, officials recommended sheltering with a family member or friend who resides in a sturdy home, or relocating to a hotel.

“There is Covid in every aspect of your hurricane preparedness needs,” said Bill Johnson, the Emergency Management Director for Palm Beach County at the news conference on Friday. “Shelters should be considered your last resort.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Friday that state-run coronavirus testing sites, which are mostly housed under tents at outdoor venues, will be closed if they are within Hurricane Isaias’s anticipated path.

Many testing sites would be unsafe for lab personnel during the storm’s wind and rain, Mr. DeSantis said during a news conference on Friday. Labs run by private companies, hospitals and local county health departments will not be affected by the state’s closure.

The governor, a Republican, had planned to close all of the state’s testing sites from Friday to Wednesday. But the Division of Emergency Management eventually said it would keep testing sites open in counties that should be unaffected.

In Miami-Dade County, the center of Florida’s coronavirus outbreak, Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered the county-run sites to close from Friday until at least Monday.

The county has recorded more than 20,000 cases in the past seven days.

“We have thousands of tests that will not be conducted until we get these test sites up and running again,” Mr. Gimenez said during a news conference on Friday. “We have to put safety first.”

On Thursday, Florida recorded 253 deaths, the state’s most deaths in a single day. While the number of daily new cases has declined in the second half of July, the number of daily deaths has trended upward.

Forecasters predicted an active hurricane season, and it seems they were right.

Because of warm ocean temperatures and other conditions this year, weather experts said in May that there would probably be more than the average of 12 named storms.

Florida-bound travelers facing delays because of Hurricane Isaias may include two astronauts scheduled to depart from the International Space Station on Saturday.

The astronauts, Robert L. Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley, blasted off to the space station in May in the Crew Dragon capsule built and operated by SpaceX, the rocket company started by Elon Musk. They are scheduled to splash down on Sunday afternoon, but the hurricane is complicating that plan.

NASA and SpaceX have seven potential sites in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico where the capsule and its passengers can splash down. But the track of Isaias ruled out the three in the Atlantic.

At the splashdown site, winds must be less than 10 miles per hour, and there are additional constraints on waves and rain. In addition, helicopters that take part in the recovery of the capsule must be able to fly and land safely.

Conditions may be calm enough at the two westernmost splashdown sites, off Pensacola and Panama City. If the two astronauts cannot leave on Saturday, NASA could decide to push back the departure by one day.

Reporting was contributed by Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Kenneth Chang, Richard Fausset, Henry Fountain, Patricia Mazzei, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio,Frances Robles and Will Wright.



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