Florida Braces for Hurricane Dorian, Caribbean Spared

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Hurricane Dorian

All eyes are on Hurricane Dorian, which is expected to be a Category 4 hurricane with catastrophic winds of 130 mph when it makes landfall on late Monday or early Tuesday morning in Florida.

As of Friday afternoon, Hurricane Dorian was expected to make landfall along Florida’s southeast coast. On Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for the counties in the path of the storm, then widened it to include the entire state. Flooding and storm surges are expected because of the slow movement of the storm, the biggest to hit the state in three decades.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for northwestern Bahamas on Friday and said the risk of “devastating hurricane-force winds along the Florida east coast late this weekend and early next week continues to increase.”

“It’s going to impact the entirety of Florida,” Acting FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor said Friday morning on CNN’s New Day.

The storm slammed the U.S. Virgin Islands Wednesday with wind gusts of up to 100 mph, causing power outages on all three islands. As of Friday morning, all hotels and resorts throughout the Northwest Bahamas had activated their hurricane response programs and Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) was set to close until Sept. 3.

Puerto Rico, which is still recovering from Hurricane Maria two years ago, was spared, as were Barbados, Saint Lucia, and the Eastern Caribbean islands. “Thankfully, there was little negative impact from the storm. Airports, which were closed as required when sustained winds reach 40 knots, are reopened,” said Frank Comito, CEO and director general of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), in a statement.

News from the cruise lines continues to stream in, as lines including Disney and Carnival relocate ships away from the storm’s path. Royal Caribbean has closed its Bahamas private beach resort, CocoCay, through Sept. 4. The port of Freeport was closed as of Friday afternoon.

Two hotel companies so far—Rosen Hotels & Resorts and South Beach Group Hotels—have introduced special distress rates for those affected by the storm. Rosen Hotels & Resorts is providing lowered distress rates at its eight hotels in the Orlando area and South Beach Group Hotels is offering a 25 percent discount.

This story originally appeared on prevuemeetings.com.