Tropical Storm Isaias arriving on Tuesday

Joanna Estrada
August 2, 2020

The hurricane swept across the Bahamas, causing power outages, and Puerto Rico officials on Saturday recovered the body of a woman killed in a flood when Isaias swept by the island two days earlier."Isaias is forecast to regain hurricane status tonight", Stacy Stewart, a meteorologist at the center, wrote in his forecast.

The storm, a Category 1 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, prompted authorities in parts of the southern U.S. state to close COVID-19 testing sites and people to stock up on essentials.

It was located about 135 miles south-southeast of Nassau in the Bahamas, and 265 miles southeast of Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, the National Hurricane Center said in a bulletin.

Hurricane warnings continued along Florida's east coast on Saturday morning, and the hurricane center urged those in Isaias' path to finish their preparations as soon as possible.

Isaias snapped trees and knocked out power as it blew through the Bahamas on Saturday and churned toward the Florida coast.

Storm surge is a concern.

Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Friday for all of the state's counties along the Atlantic coast.

The area could see Tropical Storm Force winds as early as early Tuesday morning.

Isaias is expected to move near the east coast of the Florida peninsula late Saturday through Sunday before hitting the eastern Carolinas by early next week, forecasters said.

A man died in the Dominican Republic when he was electrocuted by a fallen electrical cable, according to the Associated Press. On Abaco island, officialsevacuated people who had been living in temporary housing since Hurricane Dorian hit the region past year, The Associated Press reported.

"The division created new and detailed shelter guidance for all counties in light of COVID-19 and has prepared shelter kits with hand sanitizer, masks and gloves ready to be deployed upon request", DeSantis said.

The confluence of hurricane season with the spike in COVID-19 cases led the American Meteorological Society on Thursday to issue new guidance for hurricane preparedness. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has also followed suit.

Florida has been a coronavirus hot spot in the United States in recent weeks, and the added menace of a storm ratcheted up the anxiety there as well. Two to 4 feet of surge will be possible along Florida's east coast from Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach, where the storm surge watch is in effect. But, she added, "I feel that the public is really panicking because it's a hurricane and we're in the middle of a pandemic".

DeSantis said testing sites would remain open on Florida's west coast, and testing at hospitals and community centres may also continue.

In Palm Beach County, about 150 people were in shelters, said emergency management spokeswoman Lisa De La Rionda.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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