Live updates: Tropical Storm Dorian bears down on Puerto Rico, may strengthen by Florida

Posted on: August 28th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Tropical Storm Dorian is bearing down on Puerto Rico, where heavy rain and possibly life-threatening flash flooding are expected Wednesday.

The main island of Puerto Rico is under a tropical storm warning while Puerto Rico’s Vieques and Culebra islands are under hurricane warnings. The U.S. and British Virgin Islands are also under hurricane warnings.

Though Dorian is not forecast to hit the island as a hurricane, the Puerto Rican government said it is fully prepared for the impact. Gov. Wanda Vazquez said Monday night that the government is 90 percent ready to deal with any possible damage Dorian might cause.

Many in Puerto Rico are still reeling from the devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Maria, including tens of thousands of residents living under blue tarp roofs.

More than 7,400 generators and three mega generators are already on the island, according to the governor, and at least 360 shelters will open, accommodating up to 48,500 people.

President Trump has approved an emergency declaration, which will provide federal assistance in Puerto Rico.

Vazquez said Monday night, “The communication with all [of the president’s] aides has been extraordinary.”

A new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representative is on the island assisting in response coordination.

“The response to Tropical Storm Dorian will be on top of a complex recovery effort,” a FEMA spokesperson said. “Even a smaller and less severe storm could have significant impact.”

After clearing Puerto Rico, Dorian is forecast to move through the northern Bahamas.

Dorian may strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane with winds near 100 mph as it approaches the Florida coast over the holiday weekend.

The storm is also impacting Labor Day travelers. Some airlines have issued travel waivers, and Royal Caribbean is closing its private island in the Bahamas for a week and altering some of its cruise ship itineraries to avoid Dorian.

As the Atlantic hurricane season nears Sept. 10 — its peak — Dorian isn’t the only tropical storm on the move. Newly formed Tropical Storm Erin is expected to bring rough surf to the East Coast beaches from the Carolinas to New England this Labor Day weekend.

Otherwise, it is not expected to directly impact the East Coast.

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