Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina declare emergencies as Hurricane Isaias hits the Bahamas and barrels toward the east coast

  • The governors of Virginia and North Carolina have declared states of emergency and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared an emergency for some counties in Hurricane Isaias' path.
  • The National Weather Service said Saturday morning that it expected the hurricane to hit parts of Florida's east coast by Saturday night and Sunday after hitting the Bahamas.
  • Gov. DeSantis signed an executive order on Friday declaring a state of emergency for 19 counties including Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Monroe.
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The governors of Virginia and North Carolina have declared states of emergency and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared an emergency for some counties in Hurricane Isaias' path as the storm barreled toward the east coast.

On Saturday morning the National Weather Service said Hurricane Isaias, which it upgraded on Friday to a Category 1 hurricane from a tropical storm, would produce a dangerous storm surge in parts of the northwest Bahamas through late Saturday before its likely path along Florida's east coast.

Gov. DeSantis signed an executive order on Friday declaring a state of emergency for 19 counties including Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Monroe.

He said in a tweet on Saturday morning that President Donald Trump had approved his request for a pre-landfall emergency declaration for the counties in hurricane's path, adding it would help Florida authorities "respond quickly to any impacts from the storm."

Other states are bracing for the hurricane's impact. On Friday, North Carolina Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency and said the state's Emergency Operations Center had activated for the storm.

Gov. Cooper said the path indicated Hurricane Isaias could reach the state as early as Monday, though "the state is already seeing signs of the storm with high risk of dangerous rip currents along the coast."

The hurricane is set to touch down as states try to navigate reopening their local economies after months of lockdown spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.

"Hurricane preparations will be different given the COVID-19 pandemic, and families need to keep that in mind as they get ready," Gov. Cooper said in a statement.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said Friday the state would declare a state of emergency in preparation for the hurricane, which the state projected would impact parts of Virginia "as early as this weekend."

States further north up the east coast are also preparing for the storm. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement on Friday that he directed state agencies to prepare and "pre-deploy" emergency response assets as the hurricane gathers strength.

"While there is a great deal of uncertainty among forecasters concerning the final path of the storm, current models suggest the storm may impact the lower Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island early next week," he said.

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