On Friday, July 31, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for counties along the Atlantic coastline as Hurricane Isaias continues to track towards the state. The state of emergency is in place for east coast counties stretching from Miami-Dade in the south to Nassau at the northern tip. The executive order facilitates the mobilization of resources to respond to the potential impact of the storm. Beaches, parks, marinas, and golf courses in Miami-Dade were set to close on Friday due to the storm, and drive-through and walk-up coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test centers have also been closed until Wednesday, August 5.
According to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) at 14:00 (local time) on Friday, Hurricane Isaias was located 395 km (245 mi) southeast of the Bahamas capital Nassau, traveling northwest at 26 kph (16 mph) and carrying maximum sustained winds of 120 kph (75 mph). Further strengthening of the storm is possible in the next day or so, with Isaias possibly becoming a Category 2 hurricane on Saturday. The storm is forecast to track over the southeastern and central Bahamas on Friday before moving near or over the northwestern Bahamas early Saturday, August 1. It is then forecast to track close to Florida's east coast on Saturday afternoon through Sunday, August 2. On current forecasts, the storm could affect eastern South and North Carolina early next week, with heavy rainfall potentially leading to flooding in urban, riverine, and low-lying areas.
Due to the approach of the storm, a hurricane watch is in effect from Deerfield Beach northward to the Volusia-Brevard county line and a tropical storm warning is in effect from Ocean Reef northward to Sebastian Inlet. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Lake Okeechobee. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area from Saturday and hurricane conditions are possible in the watch area from Saturday night into Sunday. From Friday night through to Monday, August 3, up to 150 mm (6 in) of rainfall is expected in eastern areas which could lead to flash floods, landslides, and river flooding.
Associated disruptions to travel, maritime operations, and businesses should be anticipated during the passing of storm, particularly along Florida's eastern coastline.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from late May through to the end of November, with activity typically peaking in late August and early September. Numerous tropical storms form in the Atlantic Ocean during this period, with most affecting the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the United States. Although communities in the region are generally well prepared for adverse weather conditions during the hurricane season, severe storms bring a significant risk of flooding and infrastructural damage.
Individuals in areas forecast to be affected by the storm system are advised to monitor local weather reports, confirm flight reservations, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and never drive through flooded streets; floodwater may also contain wastewater and chemical products.
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