Hurricane Dorian will likely put a damper on Labor Day plans for the East Coast this weekend. The storm is increasing in intensity, dumping rain on the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Wednesday and possibly aiming for the U.S. East Coast.
The National Weather Service predicts heavy rains, high winds and flash flooding for the Bahamas, Florida and the southeastern United States later this week and early next week as Dorian looms closer. While it is still too soon for the hurricane's path to be determined, hurricane-force winds are likely, according to www.noaa.gov.
Bulloch County residents are warned to be ready, said Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn.
"Dorian continues to pose a threat to the Southeast over the next five days. It has become much more organized" in the hours between early Wednesday morning and midday, he said. "Winds could approach 115 mph as it approaches the United States."
Maps from the National Weather Service showed that "we are still within the cone and some preparations are in order," Wynn said.
As the holiday weekend approaches, he plans to meet with other public safety leaders Friday morning to discuss plans for action in case the storm has a significant effect on the area.
According to reports Wednesday afternoon from weathertracker.com, Dorian is forecasted to reach Category 3 status.
As of Wednesday, tropical storm warnings and a hurricane watch were issued for the Virgin Islands.
Another storm, Tropical Depression Erin, has also formed off the East Coast, but is expected to turn away from the mainland and poses no threat, according to weather reports.
In the past, when hurricanes threatened southeastern Georgia, Wynn reminded residents to stock up on emergency supplies such as water, medications, nonperishable foods and flashlights.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.