June 14, 2024

Hurricane Isaias causes major damage as it approaches the U.S.

David Terrazas and Andrea Hagopian (L-R) put shutters over the sliding glass doors at Maria’s Restaurant as Hurricane Isaias approaches on August 01, 2020 in Stuart, Florida. The hurricane is expected to brush past the east coast of Florida within the next 24 hours. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Category 1 storm, Hurricane Isaias, landed in the Bahamas with winds of about 85 mph. Many buildings and trees were blown over and the storm caused wide-spread damage.

Although the storm is moving away from the Bahamas and towards the U.S., Trevor Basden, the director of the Bahamas meteorology department, told residents  to “continue to hunker down”.

While on the way to Florida, Isaias was weakened to a tropical storm, but experts say that it may be upgraded once again, according to Reuters.

“Don’t be fooled by the downgrade. We do think it will be upgraded back to a hurricane later on this evening,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis today.

READ MORE: Kids in Bahamas stranded with schools damaged by hurricane

On Friday, both Florida and North Carolina declared states of emergency for many counties due to the imminent landing of Hurricane Isaias.

All COVID-19 testing sites were closed and people living in affected areas were told to buy seven days worth of food and supplies in order to stay in their homes when the storm hits.

Hurricane Isaias may reach wind speeds of about 75 mph when it reaches Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center. They also said that the storm could bring heavy rains and cause flooding during the weekend and into the beginning of next week.

“While current projections have the eye of Isaias remaining at sea, the situation remains fluid and can change quickly,” said DeSantis, according to Reuters. “The state of Florida is fully prepared for this.”

READ MORE: CDC quietly releases reopening plan as ‘busy’ hurricane season looms

Many public areas including beaches and parks were closed on Friday. Experts say that the storm could become a Category 2 hurricane, with wind speeds being close to 110 mph.

Florida has a well-trained hurricane response team, but with the added pressure of controlling the coronavirus, there is less focus on storm preparation.

“It’s not a perfect system,” said Frank Rollason, Miami-Dade’s director of emergency management, “but what we’re facing to today with COVID, we’re trying to avoid packing all of those people into the emergency operations center.”

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