Hurricane Isaias hits Bahamas and approaches Florida

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Hurricane Isaias strengthened slightly as it struck the Bahamas on Saturday, hitting Florida and is expected to approach the southeastern state later in the day before moving up the east coast of the United States.Isaias was carrying 140 km / h winds and was located about 125 kilometers southeast of the Bahamian capital Nassau at 5 a.m. ET, heading northwest, the US National Hurricane Center said.

Its center was approaching the island of Andros in the Bahamas and was to pass Saturday over or near islands in the central and northwestern Bahamas, potentially causing damaging storm surges of up to 1 , 52 meters above normal tide levels, the NHC said.

The storm, a Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson five-step scale, prompted authorities in parts of Florida to shut down COVID-19 testing sites and people to stock up on essentials.

Residents fill and collect sandbags ahead of Hurricane Isaias’ expected arrival in Doral, Fla. On Friday. (Liza Feria / Reuters)

Isaias is expected to deliver heavy rain to the state’s Atlantic coast from Friday night before hitting the eastern Carolinas early next week, the NHC said.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has instituted a state of emergency for a dozen Atlantic coast counties, making it easier to mobilize resources. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper followed suit.

2 deaths in the Dominican Republic

The storm has killed at least two people in the Dominican Republic and destroyed trees, flooded streets and turned off thousands of homes and businesses in Puerto Rico, media reported.

WATCH | Puerto Rico hit by Isaias:

Extensive damage has been reported as the storm gains in hurricane strength on its way to the US east coast. 1:01

Public beaches, parks, marinas and golf courses were closed in Miami-Dade County on Friday.

Miami-Dade and Broward counties have also closed drive-through and walk-in testing sites for COVID-19, as the state at the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak reported a record increase in deaths from coronaviruses for a fourth consecutive day.

DeSantis said testing sites will remain open on the west coast of Florida and testing in hospitals and community centers may continue as well.



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