Dorian spared Puerto Rico on Wednesday but threatened to become a major hurricane that could slam directly into the Florida coast on Labor Day. By then, forecasters said, the Category 1 storm could rise to Category 3, with winds stronger than 111 miles an hour.
Georgia and South Carolina were also potential targets, they said.
As always, forecasts are never precisely correct, so it won’t be until Thursday, the earliest, before the potential impact on the U.S. will be more certainly known.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis nonetheless declared a state of emergency on Wednesday while urging coastal resident to prepare for the worst.
There initially was serious concern for Puerto Rico, where 30,000 or so homes still have tarps for roofs following a strike by Hurricane Maria two years ago that left 2,975 people dead.
Maria destroyed the island’s power grid -- replaced in some areas by a makeshift collection of strung wires – and left more than 1,000 roads still blocked by landslides.
Dorian dumped a significant amount of rain and knocked out power along the flimsy electrical grid that Puerto Rico cobbled together after Maria. It also tore through the U.S. Virgin Islands at winds of up to 80 miles an hour.
Dorian made landfall early Wednesday on Martinique after toppling trees and KO’ing power in Barbados and St. Lucia.
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