Gov. Ron DeSantis has activated 2,500 members of the National Guard for hurricane response, and has placed another 1,500 members on standby. Fifteen urban search and rescue teams are also on standby.
“As Hurricane Dorian continues to grow and intensify, we are preparing all available state resources,” DeSantis said, according to a news release from the governor's office.
DeSantis visited the National Hurricane Center in Miami, as well as the Emergency Operations Centers in Brevard and Duval counties, on Thursday, Aug. 29, according to the news release.
Life-threatening storm surge possible in Florida
As of Thursday evening, Aug. 29, the National Hurricane Center's tracking map continued to show Hurricane Dorian making landfall in the east-central Florida area, near Fort Pierce, as a Category 4 hurricane.
However, "Users are reminded to not focus on the exact forecast track, as typical forecast errors at days 4 and 5 are around 155 and 205 miles, respectively," an NHC update warns.
The hurricane continues to move northwest at 11 knots, and is expected to be near or over the Bahamas over the weekend, and continue toward Florida, strengthening in a "steady intensification" as it heads over open warm water. It is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday, Aug. 30.
"There is an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge along portions of the Florida east coast late this weekend or early next week, although it is too soon to determine where the highest storm surge will occur," the NHC message states.
Heavy rain is also expected.
State prepares for evacuations, post-hurricane response
Here's what the state government is doing in addition to preparing for a National Guard response, according to the news release:
- As of Aug. 29, no evacuations have been ordered. Once they are, Gov. DeSantis will have the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) lift tolls in the affected areas, according to the news release from the governor's office.
- The state government has prepared 819,000 gallons of water and 1.8 million meals for distribution, has ordered another 200,000 gallons of water, and has sent 860,000 bottles of water to preparing counties.
- The state Department of Health is coordinating with counties to prepare resources.
- Daytona State College will close at noon on Friday, August 30, and stay closed through Tuesday, Sept. 3.
- The state is advising drivers who need information about roadway conditions to use the state's 511 Traveler Information System.
- The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is encouraging businesses to visit www.FloridaDisaster.biz for disaster preparedness tips and register to receive updates as the storm progresses; a private sector hotline is being activated at 850-815-4925 to support disaster preparedness and response.The Department of Business and Professional Regulation's Hurricane Guide is available at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/documents/HurricaneGuide_web.pdf.
- Crisis Cleanup will open a Home Cleanup Hotline at 844-965-1386 on Sunday, Sept. 1 to help people whose property is damaged.