The Latest: Bahamas preparing for hit from Dorian

MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Dorian (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

The sounds of hammers banging into plywood and cash registers dinging are echoing across the Bahamas as the archipelago that lies southeast of Florida rushes to prepare for Hurricane Dorian .

The Category 2 storm is expected to strengthen in its approach to the northwest Bahamas on Saturday and then move over or near that region Sunday.

Dorian was located 480 miles (770 kilometers) east of the northwest Bahamas at 11 a.m. EDT on Friday. It had maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph) and was moving northwest at 10 mph (17 kph).

A hurricane watch was in effect for northwestern Bahamas, where long lines formed at gas stations and grocery stores Friday. Supplies like canned food and bottled water were quickly disappearing in Grand Bahama Island.


10:40 a.m.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis urges residents to listen to their local officials as they decide whether to evacuate before Hurricane Dorian hits the state early next week.

At a Friday briefing in Tallahassee, DeSantis said the storm’s uncertain path and the fact that the impacts from Dorian won’t be felt as early as initially anticipated means county emergency management officials are “taking the time to digest what it means and then make decisions.”

The governor said there will be evacuations. But he added that if people evacuate too soon, they could be heading into the path of the storm if the path changes.


9 a.m.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says it’s concerned by Hurricane Dorian’s slow motion as it approaches Florida’s coast.

The Hurricane Center says slow movement by the storm as it hits Florida would put parts of the state “at an increasing risk of a prolonged, drawn-out event of strong winds, dangerous storm surge and heavy rainfall.”

The storm is expected to increase to a major Category 3 hurricane later in the day Friday and could hit the U.S. on Tuesday as a Category 4 storm.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency, clearing the way to bring in more fuel. Georgia’s governor has followed suit.


8 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian has gotten a little stronger as it moves toward Florida’s East Coast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm’s maximum sustained winds increased Friday morning to near 110 mph (175 kph). The Hurricane Center says more strengthening is forecast and Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane later in the day.

Dorian is centered about 255 miles (410 kilometers) east-northeast of the southeastern Bahamas and is moving northwest near 12 mph (19 kph).


7:25 a.m.

With Hurricane Dorian heading toward Florida’s East Coast, Florida Power and Light has activated its emergency response plan.

The company says in a news release that it has secured some 13,000 employees and additional personnel to help restore power after the storm hits. They’re also working with utility companies across the country to pre-position crews and additional equipment in advance of Dorian’s landfall.

FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy said the company operates more than 48,000 miles (77,000 kilometers) of overhead powerlines across the state. The company says to prepare for power outages because of all the trees that surround the power lines.


1:05 a.m.

Unsure where Hurricane Dorian is going to land over Labor Day weekend, many Florida residents faced a sense of helplessness as the storm approaches.

In a video he tweeted Thursday evening, President Donald Trump said Dorian could be an “absolute monster.”

The National Hurricane Center said the Category 2 storm is expected to strengthen into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 and slam into the U.S. on Monday somewhere between the Florida Keys and southern Georgia.

With the storm’s track still unclear, no immediate mass evacuations have been ordered.

Across much of the state, residents picked the shelves clean of bottled water and lined up at gas stations.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency, clearing the way to bring in more fuel. Georgia’s governor has followed suit.


For AP’s complete coverage of the hurricane: .

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