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Dorian reduced to Category 4, outer rain bands arrive in Florida

11 a.m. Monday update

The National Hurricane Center has reduced Dorian to a Major Category 4 Hurricane. Outer rain bands of the hurricane have arrived to Martin, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties, tropical storm force winds possible with proceeding bands.

WIND:  Strong tropical storm force winds between 40 and 55 mph are possible in Indian River County by tonight, and then across Brevard and coastal Volusia Counties Tuesday through Tuesday night.  Tropical storm force wind gusts are also possible in and around the Orlando metro area Tuesday and Tuesday night, although there is still some uncertainty how far inland these wind speeds will reach.

RAIN:  Rainfall amounts from Dorian are likely are likely to range from 4 to 6 inches near and east of the I-95 corridor, with localized amounts near 10 inches near the coast.  Rainfall amounts of 2 to 5 inches are expected across inland to the Florida Turnpike, with lesser amounts farther west.

TORNADOES:  A tornado or two is possible from the outer rain squalls from Dorian at any time Tuesday through Wednesday night.  Chances of this occurring are highest near the Atlantic Coast, where water spouts are also possible.

SURGE (COASTAL AREAS):  A storm surge of 4 to 7 feet above ground is possible in surge prone areas near the Atlantic Coast.  The combination of surge and high astronomical tides will cause severe runup of waves and water, resulting in inundation of many coastal locations.  There will also be numerous strong rip currents in addition to the very large breaking waves, which will build in excess of 10 feet.

Hurricane warnings posted for portions of Florida’s Atlantic coast 

A hurricane watch was extended to the Florida / Georgia border Sunday night as Dorian continued to move slowly west across the Bahamas.

National Hurricane Center forecasters said Dorian remains an incredibly powerful hurricane. They expect it to slow down even more or perhaps stall before making a turn to the northwest late Monday or early Tuesday. The timing of the turn will determine how close Dorian comes to the Florida peninsula Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hurricane Warnings have been posted by the NHC for the Atlantic coast from Jupiter Inlet to the Volusia/Brevard County line and a tropical storm warning is in effect from north of Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet.

Tropical storm watches are in effect for Orange, Seminole and Volusia Counties. 

Governor urges Florida residents to follow evacuation orders

Governor Ron DeSantis is warning Florida residents along the coast to follow directions to evacuate if they are told to leave.

Hurricane Dorian made landfall at Elbow Cay, Abacos. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 185 mph with gusts over 220 mph.

DeSantis says the forecast track of the storm is “perilously close” to the coast of Florida. 

“This storm at this magnitude could really cause massive destruction and do not put your life in jeopardy by staying behind when you have a chance to get out,” DeSantis said during a briefing Sunday afternoon.

“You still have time to prepare yourself and to make sure that you and your family are safe.”

Tolls suspended

DeSantis announced that he’s suspended tolls on the Florida Turnpike, Alligator Alley, Sawgrass Expressway, and 528 Beachway. 

He says he’s also suspended tolls on several Central Florida roads. 

“I received a request from Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings to suspend tolls for the East-West Beltway around Orlando. State roads 417 and 429 I have granted that request.”

DeSantis says he’s prepared to open the shoulders of roads if needed but he says traffic is relatively stable at this time. 

He says there are currently no fuel shortages or bridge closures.

Mandatory evacuations will begin at 8am tomorrow for Brevard County residents living in mobile homes, in low-lying flood prone areas, or on the barrier islands, and people with special medical needs. 

Mandatory evacuations for parts of Volusia County will begin tomorrow morning at 10. 

“We are facing a very dangerous storm, so just a matter of getting the word out, encouraging people to get off that barrier island,” said Volusia County emergency manager Jim Judge.

“We saw a lot of folks who did not evacuate during either Matthew or Irma, and then of course we heard the stories that they wish they had.”

Mayor Jerry Demings says Orange County shelters are open and ready to take evacuees, including those from other counties.

“We want to assure our public that Orange County stands ready and prepared to assist out neighbors throughout Central Florida and especially those in the coastal communities,” said Demings.

Orange County emergency manager Keith Kotch said the county could feel the effects of tropical storm force winds Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Hurricane watches posted

Hurricane Watches have been posted for parts of the Atlantic coast as Hurricane Dorian strikes the northwestern Bahamas hard.

The storm reached Category 5 intensity Sunday morning and has continued to strengthen.

Top sustained winds are near 180 mph according to the 11 am advisory from The National Hurricane Center. Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne says the core of the hurricane is still likely to stay offshore, but even a small shift to the west could bring severe winds onshore.

“Hurricane Watches have been issued for Deerfield Beach northward to the Volusia/Brevard county line for the possibility of hurricane winds,” said Hawthorne.

“The watch was issued because Dorian’s wind field is forecast to become larger in size as it approaches, and it takes into account small wobbles hurricanes can make. Tropical storm winds are still the most likely scenario and tropical storm warnings remain in effect for areas from the Brevard/Indian River county line southward.”

Hawthorne said that regardless of the exact track, storm surge flooding is likely.

The latest official forecast from The National Hurricane Center predicts 4 to 7 feet of surge from Jupiter Inlet to the Brevard/Volusia county line, and 2 to 4 feet from the Miami-Dade/Palm Beach county line north to Jupiter Inlet.

Flood warning issued for St. Johns River 

A flood warning has been issued for the St. Johns River near Astor. The river has reached 2.3 feet which is considered a minor flooding stage. 

Low-lying homes and streets on could experience flooding and water could begin to cover some docks. There  is currently a no wake zone in effect on the St. Johns River. 

An idle-speed, no-wake zone means a vessel may not travel faster than required to maintain steerageway and headway.  Residents should move to higher ground and avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just six inches of moving water can knock people down and two feet of water can sweep vehicles away.

Florida National Guard Activates

4,400 Florida National Guardsmen have been activated. They are prepared to help with disaster relief, security operations, search and rescue, and reconnaissance using high-wheeled vehicles, helicopters, boats and generators.

A Helicopter Search and Rescue Team is also on standby.

President Donald Trump has signed an emergency declaration for the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

FEMA says with this order federal aid money has been made available to tribal members to help with disaster relief. 


Brevard County Emergency Management officials are calling for evacuations to begin 8 a.m. Monday.

Residents who should start evacuating include those living in mobile or manufactured homes, in low-lying flood prone areas, the barrier islands including areas from Kennedy Space Center south to the beaches and Merritt Island, and people with special medical needs including electrical dependency. 

Volusia County residents who live beachside, in low-lying areas and RV and mobile homes will be ordered to evacuate Monday.

Health First has put its evacuations on hold for patients at Cape Canaveral Hospital.


Brevard County shelters will open 5 p.m. Sunday.

The county will open ten shelters including pet friendly shelters. Click here for a list of locations.

Volusia County shelters will open 10 a.m. Monday.

  • General
    • TD Taylor Middle/High, 100 E. Washington Ave, Pierson
    • DeLand High, 800 N Hill Rd, DeLand
    • University High School, 1000 W Rhode Island Ave, Orange City
    • Mainland High School, 1255 W. Intl Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach
    • Sweetwater Elementary, 5800 Victoria Gardens Blvd, Port Orange
  • Special Needs Shelter – Assists evacuees with disabilities or functional medical needs. This is a Pet Friendly shelter for Special Needs persons only. Evacuees and their service animals will remain in the same location.
    • Atlantic High, 1250 Reed Canal Rd, Port Orange
    • Creekside Middle, 6801 Airport Rd, Port Orange
    • Freedom Elementary, 1395 S. Blue Lake Avenue, DeLand
    • Galaxy Middle, 2400 Eustace Ave, Deltona
    • Palm Terrace Elementary, 1825 Dunn Avenue, Daytona Beach
    • Pride Elementary, 1100 Learning Lane, Deltona
  • Pet Friendly – People and pets are housed in separate locations at the shelter
    • Hinson Middle,1860 N. Clyde Morris Blvd, Daytona Beach
    • Pine Ridge High, 925 Howland Blvd, Deltona
    • River Springs Middle, 900 West Ohio Ave, Orange City
  • People Pet Shelter – (People and pets are house in the same location – Fairgrounds only)
    • Volusia County Fairgrounds, 3150 W. State Rd 44, DeLand

Orange County opened general population shelters, including pet friendly shelters Sunday morning.

Shelter locations:

  • Cypress Creek High School, 1101 Bear Crossing Drive Orlando, FL 32824
  • Discovery Middle School, 601 Woodbury Road Orlando, FL 32828
  • East River High School, 654 Columbia School Road Orlando, FL 32833 (pet friendly) 
  • Edgewater High School, 3100 Edgewater Drive Orlando, FL 32804
  • Evans High School, 4949 Silver Star Road Orlando, FL 32808
  • Freedom Middle School, 2850 W. Taft Vineland Road Orlando, FL 32837
  • Lake Nona High School, 12500 Narcoosee Road Orlando, FL 32832 (pet friendly) 
  • Oak Ridge High School, 6000 Winegard Road Orlando, FL 32809 (pet friendly) 
  • Ocoee High School, 1925 Ocoee Crown Point Pkwy Ocoee, FL 34761

To register for special needs shelters call 311.

See the Orange County website for a list of recommended items to bring to the shelter.

Osceola County has opened its special needs shelter at the Osceola Council On Aging, located at 700 Generation Pt, Kissimmee, FL 34744.

General population shelters will open Monday at 12 noon.

  • Harmony High School (pet-friendly) 3601 Arthur J Gallagher Blvd, St Cloud, FL 34771.
    *Pet owners are responsible for bringing their own pet supplies (food, waste products, litter, beds, crates, etc).
  • St. Cloud High School – 2000 Bulldog Ln, St Cloud, FL 34769
  • Horizon Middle School – 2020 Ham Brown Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34746
  • First responders will be sheltered at Osceola Heritage Park,  including pets – 1875 Silver Spur Ln, Kissimmee, FL 34744
  • Sex offenders will be sheltered at the County’s Beaumont Street Facility – 330 N Beaumont Ave. Kissimmee, FL 34741

Airport closures

Orlando International Airport will remain open tomorrow as airport leaders continue to monitor the path of the storm. 

Orlando Sanford International Airport will close tonight at 11:59 PM and is expected to stay closed through Monday.

Orlando Melbourne International Airport plans to close its terminal Monday afternoon. 

School closures

UCF and Valencia College are closed through Tuesday. Rollins College and FIT are closed through Wednesday.

UCF leaders will provide students with an update this afternoon about closures. Rollins will update their students tomorrow.

BCU was under mandatory evacuation on Friday with the campus closed until further notice. 

OCPS schools are closed through Tuesday. Parents can follow @OCPSNEWS and OCPS Connect newsletter for updates.

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