Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Category 5 Hurricane Dorian Moves Slowly Along an Uncertain Path


Hurricane Dorian intensified to a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane, making landfall in the Bahamas early this morning. With 180 mile-per-hour winds, the storm is expected to slowly move over the Bahamas during the next 24 hours. Dorian is expected to bring devastating hurricane-force winds, heavy rains, and severe inland flooding to the Bahamas with storm surge as high as 18 to 23 feet. Current models show Hurricane Dorian tracking alongside the east coast; however, this storm remains unpredictable, especially as it continues to move slowly across the Atlantic towards the southeastern coast. Residents in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are encouraged to stay informed and continue making preparations in advance of the hurricane.

As the hurricane moves closer to the mainland, it is anticipated to have severe impacts on communities in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, including a direct threat to residents of the eastern coast of Florida. Even if Hurricane Dorian does not make landfall in the United States, it could bring life-threatening storm surge, extreme winds, and severe flooding. It is important for everyone along the southeast coast to continue to monitor and respond to their state and local emergency management operations for critical updates and instructions, including potential evacuation orders.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Hurricane Dorian

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides guidance to individuals preparing for, experiencing, or affected by hurricanes. Residents of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are encouraged to monitor this storm as it approaches. The Hagerty Blog Team will continue providing information and updates.

NOAA Guidance on Storm Watch versus WarningSource: National Weather Service

Public Advisories

Here’s the breakdown of public advisories from NOAA’s NHC in decreasing order of severity:

  • Hurricane Warning:
    • Northwestern Bahamas excluding Andros Island
  • Hurricane Watch:
    • Andros Island
  • Tropical Storm Warning:
    • North of Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet
  • Tropical Storm Watch:
    • North of Golden Beach to Deerfield Beach

Evacuations and Emergency Declarations

  • Florida: See evacuation zones here
    • Voluntary Evacuations have been issued for: Glades, Hendry, Osceola, and Indian River counties
    • Mandatory Evacuations have been issued for: Martin and Palm Beach counties, Zones A and B
  • Georgia: See evacuation resources here
  • South Carolina: See evacuation zones here

Related Stories

  • Remember, Ready.gov provides information on how to prepare for a storm and how to keep you and your family safe:link
  • Understanding the meaning of hurricane maps – a NY Times Opinion Piece: link
  • NY Times regularly updated tracking of Hurricane Dorian: link

Keep track of Hagerty’s Hurricane Dorian coverage here: Hurricane Season 2019