We protect homes before the hurricane arrives. - Florida Today-USA TODAY NETWORK / SIPA
Florida was preparing Sunday for the passage of Isaias, the hurricane that dumped torrential rains on the Bahamas on Saturday before being demoted to the rank of tropical storm. Forecasters estimated that Isaias could regain strength and become a hurricane again by touching the coast of Florida where it will test the emergency services of one of the states most affected by the Covid-19 epidemic in United States.
Isaias, which was downgraded from Category 1 hurricane to tropical storm Saturday night, was blowing maximum winds of up to 110 km / hour over the Straits of Florida. The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm would amplify and revert to a hurricane overnight as it approached southeast Florida before advancing toward the eastern coast of the peninsula. The region was already enduring heavy gusts of rain on Sunday morning.
Palm Beach Voluntary Evacuation Notice
"We will start to see the impacts of the storm tonight, then obviously tomorrow until tomorrow night," Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Saturday night. Palm Beach County has issued a voluntary evacuation notice, he said. According to the NHC, “although Isaias has weakened after its visit to Andros Island (Bahamas), it is expected to strengthen on Saturday evening and Sunday morning as the cyclone moves over the warm waters of the Straits of Florida and the Gulf Stream ”. "Isaias is expected to remain a hurricane until Monday, followed by a gradual weakening Monday night or Tuesday," the organization added.
NASA, for its part, was following the storm very carefully, which risked disrupting the return to Earth of SpaceX's manned capsule, after a two-month mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Crew Dragon is due to bring back two astronauts on Sunday afternoon for a water landing off Florida in the Gulf of Mexico weather permitting. A site off the city of Pensacola (in northern Florida) has been selected as a "priority" for water landing, with an alternative in front of Panama City, if the sea is too rough or the winds too strong.
In the midst of an epidemic crisis
Roads submerged in mud, high voltage lines torn off, decapitated trees and vegetation, flooded houses ... Since Thursday, Isaias has already done a lot of damage in Puerto Rico, American territory, in the Dominican Republic not to mention the Bahamas. The Republican Governor of Florida declared a state of emergency on Friday for counties on the state's east coast, from Miami-Dade to Nassau, which was approved by President Donald Trump on Saturday, allowing the granting of funds . “It will help our state respond quickly to any damage,” Ron DeSantis tweeted.
The passage of the hurricane over Florida comes at a time when this state in the southeast of the United States is already grappling with a sharp upsurge in the coronavirus epidemic. Due to the weather, the state has had to close Covid-19 testing centers, often in tents, in anticipation of the hurricane's arrival, even if the county testing centers remain open. "When we resume testing, it is very likely that we will see a new outbreak of cases," feared on CNN Francis Suarez, the mayor of Miami.
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