Tropical storm Isaias has now been upgraded to hurricane status and could develop into a Category 2 storm, though it is still project to miss Florida’s east coast. The storm, currently near the southeast Bahamas, is forecast to move northwest, very near or over the central Florida Atlantic waters this weekend, with hazardous winds and seas expected to develop.
Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference Friday at the State Emergency Operations Center where he gave an update regarding Hurricane Isaias and its direction.
“The condition remains fluid and can change rather quickly. The 11 AM advisory from the National Hurricane center did move the eye slightly closer to Florida’s coast. The center of the storm is is currently crossing Southeastern Bahamas heading NW at 17 miles per hour. Projections have Isaias impacting south Florida as early as late tonight (Friday) into tomorrow morning (Saturday),” said DeSantis, “with the potential to increase in strength to Category 2. The National Hurricane center has issued a hurricane watch.”
Hurricane conditions and dangerous storm surge are expected in portions of the Bahamas Friday and Saturday and Hurricane warnings are in effect.
The governor also gave an update on the status of medical equipment amidst the hurricane even while the state faces a continued Covid-19 pandemic.
“A PPE reserve was created very early on for hurricane season, right now on hand they have 20 million masks, 22 million gloves, 10 million gowns, 1.6 million fee shields, 270,000 coveralls and 20,000 thermometers. All 21 of the Covid exclusive nursing home that we have helped to set up respond to the coronavirus pandemic that all of those facilities have a working generator on site.”
DeSantis also announced that deploying shelters will not be necessary for this storm, but the state has plans in case they do become necessary. He also stressed that a shelter kits which will be packed with hand sanitizer are ready to be deployed on request.
Since the storm hasn’t made headway onto Florida’s coastlines yet, DeSantis said the priority is for people to remain “vigilant” and prepared.
“Nows a great time to make your disaster supply kit if you haven’t already. We recommend seven days of food, water and medicine. You should presume if you are in the path of this storm you could lose power. If there is a strengthening to the storm that might actually bow it out a little more further off the east coast and away from Florida,” said DeSantis.