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State of Emergency Declared for Florida

Updated 12:30 p.m. CDT on August 29

CBS News reports that Hurricane Dorian gained strength in the Atlantic Ocean Wednesday and could be a Category 4 storm when it makes landfall on the Atlantic Coast of Florida Monday. The storm could have maximum wind speeds of 130 mph.

The report states that as of 11 a.m. EST Thursday, Dorian's center was 220 miles north-northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico, heading northwest at 13 mph.

Florida declared a state of emergency on Thursday.


Updated at 4:30 p.m. CDT on August 28

CBS News is reporting that Hurricane Dorian could strengthen to a Category 3 hurricane and is expected to hit Florida's Atlantic coast. The storm was officially named a hurricane Wednesday afternoon.

New projections show Puerto Rico, which was put under a state of emergency on Wednesday, might dodge a direct hit from Dorian. CNN reported Dorian was elevated to a hurricane as it struck the British and U.S. Virgin Islands Wednesday afternoon.

According to the report, the National Hurricane Center observed winds speeds of 75 mph, which are just above the minimum hurricane strength at 1 p.m. EST.

NPR reported that as of 10:30 a.m. EST Dorian is expected to hit the U.S. as a Category 2 hurricane, with winds up to 70 mph. The National Hurricane Center says the storm could strengthen within four days to have winds of 115 mph. 

The center forecasts Dorian hitting the Florida coast late Sunday or early Monday, with the possibility of strengthening to Category 3 hurricane. 

The Five Star Institute recently held its Disaster Preparedness Symposium on July 31 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Tim Carpenter, Fannie Mae’s Director, Disaster Response & Rebuild, Housing Access, gave an update on Puerto Rico’s rebuild two years after Hurricane Maria at the event. He said working with the Commonwealth and FEMA was helpful, and there has been progress on homes with mortgages, but there continues to be a struggle in non-traditional housing. 

“No clear title, no permits, no code—you combine these issues and it becomes much more difficult to get a mortgage to repair or sell that home,” Carpenter said. 

Hurricane Maria served as a harsh reminder of how important it is to prepare before a natural disaster strikes. 

“Post Maria even gathering and sharing information was a challenge. Now our Puerto Rican lenders understand that in order to work better together, we need to all have the detailed information. Luckily, better communications and better relationships now exist,” he said. 

About Author: Mike Albanese

Mike Albanese is a reporter for DS News and MReport. He is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. He has worked for publications—both print and online—covering numerous beats. A Connecticut native, Albanese currently resides in Lewisville.

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