By Cindy Jo Ayers
Hurricane Dorian has kept the meteorologists and the citizens of Florida guessing for over a week. During the latter part of last week gas stations in the Tri-County Area were running out of gas and if stations had gas some citizens were having to wait in line for gas. On Thursday, August 29, Dorian was a category 2 hurricane.
Many people remember the gas shortage and long waiting lines after south Florida was evacuated during hurricane Irma back in 2017. Mostly people here seemed to be gassing up just to be prepared in case south Florida had to evacuate.
As of Friday, August 30, Superintendent Robert Rankin announced that schools in the county would be closed on Tuesday, September 3, due to expected arrival of hurricane Dorian.
Gilchrist County Emergency Management began posting Dorian updates from the National Weather Service, known as NOAA, on Sunday, August 25, at the time it was only a tropical storm nearing Barbados. By Monday, August 26, NOAA drew a cone showing the storm headed toward South Florida. By Friday, August 30, the prediction was the storm would be passing through this area on Tuesday, September 3, it was expected to hit South Florida before 8 a.m. on Monday, September 1, as a category 4 Hurricane. The Gilchrist County Emergency Management posted they would give information about shelter openings and sandbags in their next update.
By Saturday, August 31 the hurricane prediction was for it to shift to the East possibly missing a landfall in South Florida and skirting the Eastern Coast of Florida. The storm was to be a category 5 as it approached the Abaco Island. Storm surge there was expected to be 15 to 20 feet.
On Sunday, September 1, Gilchrist County was no longer projected to receive hurricane force winds.
On Monday, September 2, Governor DeSantis suspended tolls on all the toll roads in South Florida, in case the hurricane did not make the expected turn and an evacuation became necessary. At this time the storm had slowed to a speed of one mile per hour and was pounding the Bahamas as a category 5 hurricane.
By Monday, September 2, Gilchrist County Emergency statement was that the National Weather Service showed Hurricane Dorian’s current path will not likely bring severe weather to Gilchrist County.
As of Tuesday morning, September 3, Dorian was still hovering over the Bahamas, but very slowly beginning to move Northwest at about one mile per hour.
The weathermen are saying that if the hurricane holds together it could possibly make landfall in South Carolina maybe by Friday. Due to Hurricane Dorian’s unpredictability, no one really knows.
Dorian, a very unpredictable hurricane
By Cindy Jo Ayers