Hurricane Isaias expected to strengthen to Category 2, Hurricane Watch issued for Brevard County

click image The latest forecast on July 31 - GRAPHIC COURTESY NOAA

  • Graphic courtesy NOAA
  • The latest forecast on July 31

Hurricane Isaias is expected to bring tropical storm and hurricane conditions to the east coast of Florida beginning Saturday.

Isaias is currently heading over the Bahamas at 16 mph with a maximum sustained wind speed of 75 mph, according to a report from the National Hurricane Center. While the storm’s center is not predicted to hit mainland Florida, its winds extend 45 miles from its core, and its tropical-storm-force could potentially stretch out over 205 miles.

Many of the Sunshine State’s east coast communities from Fort Lauderdale to Titusville received a hurricane watch Friday morning, according to the 11 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

Although Isaias is a Category 1 hurricane, the NHC projects it to reach Category 2 strength Friday night or early Saturday morning as it passes over the Bahamas before decreasing on its way towards Florida.

Orlando is out of the storm’s direct path as of this writing, but a Hurricane Watch has been issued for Brevard County as part of this recent advisory, with the storm beginning to impact the area Saturday evening.

Isaias is projected to bring dangerous storm surges to the Bahamas today and Saturday, according to the report. Additionally, it will bring life-threatening flooding and mudslides across the Dominican Republic, northern Haiti and Caicos.

States north of Florida along the east coast like the Carolinas are predicted to receive urban flooding, especially in low-lying areas with poor draining systems, according to the NHC.

At a Thursday press conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis urged Floridians to gather at least a week’s worth of supplies to prepare for the storm.

All state-run COVID-19 testing sites in Florida will close Friday through part of next week due to concerns over the storm. This includes the testing site at the Orange County Convention Center.

This story originally appeared in our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
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