Dorian becomes category 3 hurricane -NHC

Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian

Dorian will be powerful enough - a risky hurricane with a track that has it slamming into Fort Pierce on Tuesday afternoon - that it could maintain hurricane strength as it churns through the centre of the state, perhaps directly through downtown Orlando.

Hurricane Dorian strengthened into a major hurricane on Friday as it churned across the Atlantic Ocean on a collision course with the east coast of the USA state of Florida.

DeSantis said the timely message from those arrests is: "It's your responsibility to make sure you have a plan in place to protect those folks".

"If they tell me to go buy water, I go buy water". "No one knows what can really happen". If it bumps further east, that obviously is positive. "Don't make any assumptions, remain vigilant and be prepared", DeSantis said at a briefing Saturday morning.

The storm could reach Florida as early as Saturday evening local time. One of the most powerful storms ever to hit the USA was on Labor Day 1935. One of Florida's last major hurricanes, 2017's Irma, swept up the peninsula, instead of hitting the east coast. "You're still looking at significant impacts even if the storm remains hugging the coast".

In Flagler Beach, Fla., Matt Rohrer gets sandbags on Friday to take home to prepare for Hurricane Dorian.

As of 2 p.m. ET Monday, Dorian's maximum sustained winds remained at around 60 miles per hour.

Krista Anderson, of West Palm Beach, wasn't taking any chances also said she's not going all out to prepare for the storm - at least not until the storm's track is clearer. The hurricane's winds reached almost 210 kmh late Friday, earlier than expected, and are likely to continue to increase until landfall, making it potentially catastrophic.

Hurricane Dorian continues its slow march toward the Bahamas, and, eventually Florida's east coast. It was moving northwest at 12 miles per hour (17 kph). Tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 45 miles from the center of the storm.

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"It's going to be pretty scary because you're going to have this big hurricane sitting off the coast of Florida and it's not going to move", said private meteorologist Ryan Maue, but with the storm slowing and likely to turn north he adds: "The worst effects of a direct landfall are not in the forecast".

As Dorian closed in, it upended people's Labor Day weekend plans.

Dorian was about 375 miles east of the northwestern Bahamas and about 545 miles east of West Palm Beach, Fla., according to the hurricane center.

Forecasters predicted it will be over the northwest Bahamas on Sunday and near the Florida peninsula late on Monday. The Brevard County order includes the Kennedy Space Center.

The director of emergency services for Indian River County, Tad Stone, says officials will recommend a voluntary evacuation of the barrier island when hurricane warnings are issued.

The NHC says "life-threatening storm surge and devastating hurricane-force winds" are possible in the northwestern Bahamas. The hurricane could wallop the state with even higher winds and torrential rains late Monday or early Tuesday, with millions of people in the crosshairs, along with Walt Disney World and President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

In the Bahamas, evacuations were underway in the two days before Dorian was expected to bring a life-threatening storm surge of as much as 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 meters) to the northwest of the islands, the National Hurricane Center said.

Around 10 million people could be affected by Dorian in the USA, but the exact path of the hurricane remains unclear.

But it's not good news for the Bahamas, where some of the most reliable computer models have the storm stalling and dumping as much as 50 inches (127 centimeters) of rain.

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