ORLANDO, Fla.11 p.m. Isaias continues slow churn toward Florida

The latest update from the National Hurricane Center, issued around 11 p.m. Saturday, showed Isaias about 80 miles east southeast of Fort Lauderdale and about 105 miles southeast of West Palm Beach. The storm was packing 70 mph winds and was moving northwest at 9 mph, forecasters said.

News 6 meteorologists break down the 11 p.m. advisory here:

10:15 p.m. What to expect as storm nears Florida

News 6 meteorologist Samara Cokinos takes a county-by-county look at what Central Florida can expect to see as Tropical Storm Isaias moves closer to the state.

10 p.m. Winds expected to pick up in Central Florida

As Tropical Storm Isaias continues to move toward Florida, portions of the state are bracing for potential impacts, which could begin to be felt as early as Saturday night.

News 6 chief meteorologist Tom Sorrells breaks down how soon wind speeds are expected to increase in Central Florida:

9:15 p.m. Central Florida could soon feel impacts of Isaias

In a 9:15 p.m. update, News 6 meteorologist Samara Cokinos breaks down what impacts Central Floridians can expect to see where they live and how soon as Tropical Storm Isaias continues moving toward Florida.

The storm is expected to become a hurricane again overnight Saturday, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

Parts of Central Florida could feel impacts from Isaias as soon as Saturday night.

8:15 p.m. Isaias expected to regain strength overnight

News 6 meteorologist Samara Cokinos breaks down the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

Forecasters predict Isaias will regain strength overnight and again become a hurricane as it continues on a path toward Florida.

8 p.m. Isaias 100 miles from South Florida

The latest update from the National Hurricane Center, issued around 8 p.m. Saturday, showed Tropical Storm Isaias about 100 miles southeast of Fort Lauderdale. The storm was packing 70 mph winds and was moving northwest at 9 mph, forecasters said.

According to the NHC, the system is expected to restrengthen and become a hurricane again overnight.

7:30 p.m. NASA astronauts leave ISS ahead of splashdown off Florida

Despite the obstacles Isaias has presented in their attempt to return to earth, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are officially on their way back home after departing from the International Space Station on SpaceX’s Dragon capsule.

Tropical Storm Isaias may be on its way toward Florida, but NASA officials said the weather still looks favorable for a Sunday afternoon splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola, Florida, the new prime site, according to the Associated Press.

The astronauts’ homecoming will cap a two-month mission that ended a prolonged launch drought in the U.S., which has relied on Russian rockets to ferry astronauts to the space station since the end of the shuttle era.

7 p.m. Volusia County announces plans to open shelters

Ahead of Isaias, leaders in Volusia County have announced plans to open some storm shelters Sunday morning, though residents are encouraged to shelter in place if at all possible in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Details on shelter locations and what to pack if you plan to stay at one can be found here.

While Volusia County is opening a limited number of shelters, leaders in Brevard County, a coastal county also bracing for Isaias’ potential impacts, said they do not currently have plans to open shelters or order evacuations.

Both counties also announced traffic changes in regards to local bridges.

In Volusia County, all bridges crossing the Halifax River will close once sustained wind speeds reach 39 mph, according to a news release.

Mathers Bridge in Brevard County will lock down in the vehicle traffic only position at 2 p.m. Sunday, local emergency management officials said.

6:20 p.m. Chief meteorologist Tom Sorrells provides updates on Isaias

News 6 chief meteorologist Tom Sorrells and meteorologist Samara Cokinos share the latest track, models and local impacts associated with Tropical Storm Isaias.

5:15 p.m. Isaias’ track shifts closer to Florida coastline

News 6 meteorologist breaks down the latest track, models and local impacts associated with Tropical Storm Isaias, which is expected to regain strength and again become a hurricane as it continues toward Florida.

5:10 p.m. State of emergency declared in Orlando

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has declared a state of emergency as the City Beautiful prepares for the potential impacts of Isaias.

“Now is the time to reassess our disaster kits and supplies, check in with our neighbors and make sure we are prepared on all fronts,” Dyer said. “Public safety and health is the most important during this time and we must take every storm seriously.”

5 p.m. Governor warns Floridians not to let their guards down

Gov. Ron DeSantis warned Floridians during a live news conference Saturday afternoon that although Isaias has been downgraded to a tropical storm, the system is expected to restrengthen on its way toward Florida and residents should still be prepared for any potential impacts.

“Now we’ll continue to monitor this but don’t be fooled by downgrade,” the governor said. “We do think it will be upgraded back to a hurricane later on this evening.”

DeSantis said parts of the state could see impacts from the system as soon as Saturday night.

The governor also said that as of 5 p.m. on Saturday, 16 counties had declared a state of emergency.

DeSantis said Florida’s emergency management team is preparing for power outages along the state’s east coast. According to DeSantis, Florida Power and Light has nearly 10,000 workers deployed across 16 staging areas up and down the coast.

“There have been some challenges getting out-of-state workers, but they’re continuing to try to get even more resources, and are going to work around the clock until every customer has the power back on,” he said. “Even if it’s tropical storm-force winds, you can pretty much be assured you are going to see power outages.”

DeSantis said even as a tropical storm, winds could be strong enough to take down trees, limbs and power lines and encouraged Floridians to be prepared for that.

Floridians should be executing their plans, particularly if you’re on the east coast of Florida. In the Palm Beach and in north of there, you should have seven days of food, water and medicine. You very well may experience power outages, so just be prepared for that,” he said.

The governor said the Florida National Guard is monitoring the situation and is ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice. Florida Highway Patrol and Fish and Wildlife officials are also standing by in case of emergency, according to the governor.

4:50 p.m. Isaias downgraded to tropical storm

As of 5 p.m. Saturday, Isaias had weakened to tropical storm status, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. A hurricane must have sustained winds of 74-95 mph to be a Category 1 storm.

Isaias was about 115 miles southeast of Fort Lauderdale Saturday afternoon and was moving northwest at 10 mph.

Saturday will be mainly dry in Central Florida, but a few outer bands containing tropical downpours and gusty winds could start to move into the region Sunday.

Forecasters said the storm is expected to reach hurricane strength again overnight as it approaches the southeast coast of Florida.

4:20 p.m. Isaias appears to be falling apart

Though it’s still maintaining its hurricane status, Isaias appears to be encountering some issues in its path toward Florida that are making it difficult for the storm to remain organized.

News 6 meteorologist Jonathan Kegges said dry air and wind shear are causing the Category 1 storm to fall apart quickly.

2:50 p.m. Isaias sends showers over Florida

Scattered showers hit Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, the National Weather Service says.

Storms are capable of producing wind gusts of 45-60 mph over the next hour or so, according to weather officials

2:05 p.m. Isaias clings to Cat. 1 status

Isaias remained a Category 1 hurricane — barely — as of 2 p.m. Saturday as the storm continued on a projected path off Florida’s east coast.

Saturday will be mainly dry in Central Florida, but a few outer bands containing tropical downpours and gusty winds could start to move into the region Sunday.

Get the latest information, forecast cone and computer models here.

2 p.m. Astronauts to avoid Isaias

A pair of NASA astronauts face the final and most important part of their SpaceX test flight: returning to Earth with a rare splashdown.

Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken took part Saturday in a farewell ceremony at the International Space Station, hours ahead of their planned departure on a SpaceX Dragon capsule.

NASA says despite approaching Hurricane Isaias, the weather looks favorable for a Sunday afternoon splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola, Florida, the new prime site.

It will be the first splashdown for astronauts in 45 years.

1 p.m. Astronauts coming home

A pair of NASA astronauts face the final and most important part of their SpaceX test flight: returning to Earth with a rare splashdown.

Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken took part Saturday in a farewell ceremony at the International Space Station, hours ahead of their planned departure on a SpaceX Dragon capsule.

NASA says despite approaching Hurricane Isaias, the weather looks favorable for a Sunday afternoon splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico near Panama City, Florida.

It will be the first splashdown for astronauts in 45 years.

12:45 p.m. Isaias blows through Bahamas

Hurricane Isaias snapped trees and knocked out power as it blew through the Bahamas on Saturday and headed toward the Florida coast, where officials said they were closing beaches, parks and coronavirus testing sites.

Florida authorities said they have prepared shelters, but didn’t expect to have to evacuate people.

“The most important thing we want people to do now is remain vigilant,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Authorities in North Carolina ordered the evacuation of Ocracoke Island, which was slammed by last year’s Hurricane Dorian, starting Saturday evening. Meanwhile, officials in the Bahamas cleared people out of Abaco island who have been living in temporary structures since Dorian devastated the area, killing at least 70 people.

Isaias had maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour (130 kilometers per hours) at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, a slight decline from earlier in the day, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. The center of the storm is expected to move over northern Andros Island in the next hours, on to Grand Bahama Island in the northwestern Bahamas later in the day then near the east coast of Florida overnight through Sunday. It is expected to weaken slowly late Monday.

A hurricane warning was in effect for northwest Bahamas. Isaias was expected to drop from 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain in the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Bahamian officials said they were concerned about a Category 1 storm hitting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The center of COVID-19 now is in Grand Bahama,” the island’s minister, Sen. Kwasi Thompson, told government-run ZNS Bahamas. “No one wanted to see a situation where we are now facing a hurricane.”

Paula Miller, Mercy Corps director for the Bahamas, told The Associated Press that people on the island were still standing in line for gas on Saturday ahead of the storm.

The area was still recovering from Dorian, complicating preparations for this one.

“People are doing the best they can to prepare, but a lot of businesses still have not fully repaired their roofs or their structures,” she said. “Even a lower level storm could really set them back.”

A hurricane warning was in effect for Florida’s east coast from Boca Raton, just north of Miami, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) north to the Volusia-Flagler county line. A hurricane watch was in effect from Hallendale Beach to south of Boca Raton.

The state was “fully prepared for this and any future storm during this hurricane season,” DeSantis said, with stockpiles of personal protective equipment, generators, bottled water and meals ready to be distributed.

But he said state-run coronavirus testing sites would be closed in areas where the storm might hit.

“Our sites, because they’re outdoors with tents, if it were to get 40-, 50-mile-per-hour winds, it would just collapse,” he said. “Safety is paramount for that.”

That’s concerning in a state that has been a hot spot in the United States in recent weeks. The pandemic forced officials to wrestle with social-distancing rules at the same time as disaster response.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said each person in shelters needed to have 40 square feet (nearly 4 square meters) and no more cafeteria-style dining would be allowed. Any evacuees infected with the new coronavirus will be isolated in classrooms separate them from the general population, Gimenez said.

In the Bahamas, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis relaxed a coronavirus lockdown as a result of the storm, but imposed a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. He said supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and hardware stores would be open as long as weather permitted.

The Bahamas has reported more than 570 confirmed COVID-19 cases and at least 14 deaths. It recently barred travelers from the U.S. following a surge in cases after it reopened to international tourism.

On Thursday, while still a tropical storm, Isaias toppled trees, knocked out power, destroyed crops and caused widespread flooding and small landslides in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. One man died in the Dominican Republic, where more than 5,000 people were evacuated, hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed and more than 130 communities were cut off by floodwaters. In Puerto Rico, the National Guard rescued at least 35 people from floodwaters that swept away one woman who remained missing.

12 p.m. Central Florida ‘threats and impacts’

The National Weather Service tweeted graphics that represent the “reasonable worst case scenario” for Central Florida as Hurricane Isaias heads on a projected path toward Florida.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.





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