All eyes on Hurricane Dorian as Florida makes final preparations

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Tracking the Tropics

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – The State Emergency Operations Center is on day five of Hurricane Dorian watch.

As the storm inches toward Florida, the question on every Floridian’s mind is when the storm will take a turn North. It could be the difference between a minor incident and a catastrophe.

While many in Florida used Labor Day as a time to evacuate or prepare for Hurricane Dorian, state emergency officials worked around the clock to ensure the state is ready for a possible landfall.

The morning hurricane briefing was delayed 20 minutes while Governor Ron DeSantis spoke with the president.

“He’s going to provide whatever resources we need,” said DeSantis.

Counties along the east coast have issued evacuation orders. As of 5 a.m., the storm had nearly stalled; a possible sign of a northern turn.

“Once we see the definitive movement north on which path that’s on, that’s going to allow us to kind of even more concisely, concretely, identify the places along Florida’s coast that are most at risk,” DeSantis said.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said 2,100 reports of price gouging have been received by her office. Her office had made in-person contact with at least 150 businesses.

“I’m happy to report that in many instances we’ve had businesses reduce their prices,” said Moody.

Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said both in and out of state search and rescue teams were ready for deployment.

“Right now, we’ve got 2,100 staged. Now, we don’t know exactly where the storm is going to hit,” Patronis said.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said the Department of Agriculture had more than a million gallons of water and almost two million meals staged. She also waived rules to allow premium gas prices to be lowered if standard fuel runs out.

“So that if somebody was to come to any of the gas stations they would be able to get any of the gas that was there for the same low price,” Fried said.

The storm comes on an important tourism weekend for the state. The governor said the economic impacts can’t be measured yet.

“I want as robust tourism as possible, but my most important priority is that Floridians are safe,” said DeSantis.

The hope is to see the storm make a northern turn by Tuesday morning. In the meantime, all of Florida remains under a state of emergency with the threat of Dorian looming just off the coast.

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