Hurricane Dorian has made landfall in the Bahamas as a Category 5 major hurricane with sustained winds of 185 mph and gusts over 220 mph, making it a “catastrophic” storm with “devastating winds,” according to the National Hurricane Center. As the current forecast stands, Central Florida will feel impacts on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Per the Orlando Sentinel,
“More tropical watches are expected through the day for Central Florida, as we anticipate the worst weather arriving on Tuesday and lingering through early Wednesday,” FOX 35 meteorologist Brooks Tomlin said Sunday after the 2 p.m. update.
While the projected consensus path has the storm, whose minimum central pressure fell slightly to 911 mb as of 12:45 p.m.., staying offshore, the three-day cone of uncertainty jogged somewhat more inland overnight to now include all of metro Orlando including Walt Disney World.
The current track keeps the storm within striking distance of Florida’s east coast, projected to be a Category 4 hurricane with sustained 140 mph winds and 165 mph gusts off the coast of Palm Beach County by late Monday, and then begin its shift to the northwest skirting the coast adjacent to Brevard County all day Tuesday so it’s off Cape Canaveral by 2 a.m. Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph sustained winds.
Late last night, Orlando International Airport stated it would lift its original plans to close on Monday, September 2nd and will be continuing commercial flights until further notice.
Tolls have also been suspended to help ease congestion with evacuees leaving the southeast coast of Florida ahead of Hurricane Dorian. The following tolls have been suspended:
- Florida Turnpike
- Beachline (SR 528)
- SR 417
- SR 408
- SR 414
- SR 429
- Sawgrass Expressway (SR 869)
- Alligator Alley
Images from the ground in the Bahamas show intense flooding, storm surge, and damage from the extreme winds:
Hurricane Dorian damage images are beginning to come out of Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas…these were shared by @Vernal0: pic.twitter.com/8RnniJqF4e
— Sean Breslin (@Sean_Breslin) September 1, 2019
The National Hurricane Center continues to urge Florida visitors and residents to make preparations ahead of Hurricane Dorian as trajectories can still shift at the last minute, not to mention the effects of flooding and other impacts from being inside the cone.
While Walt Disney World’s Hurricane Policy states that a Hurricane Watch or Warning must be issued in the area for cancellation or change fees to be waived, it appears that Disney Vacation Club is already extending that courtesy to guests with upcoming reservations this weekend, and some of our readers have reported getting it waived for regular Walt Disney World resort reservations and vacation packages. Just be prepared for long hold times when you call in. Wait times as long as two hours or more have been reported, so do be patient.
You can also check for any further updates for Hurricane Dorian from the National Hurricane Center here, and read up on Walt Disney World’s hurricane policy here.