Hurricane Dorian: Florida forecast to get Category 4 Labor Day storm
Hurricane Dorian became a Category 4 major hurricane Friday before its predicted landfall Monday along Florida's east coast, forecasters say. Hurricane warnings were put in place in the northwestern Bahamas as Dorian approached the island nation. A direct hit in the Bahamas is likely on Sunday into Monday. The storm was slowly turning west on Friday as it makes it way back toward land and is expected to strengthen in the coming days, the National Hurricane Center said. Dorian is forecast slam the southeastern United States as a possible Category 4 storm.
Hurricane Dorian is barreling across the Atlantic, grazing Puerto Rico and slamming the Bahamas on its way toward the U.S. mainland.
(Pictured) The eye of Hurricane Dorian is shown from the International Space Station orbiting more than 200 miles above the earth, as it churns in the north-western Caribbean nearing the United States mainland on Sept. 2.
In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian moves slowly past Grand Bahama Island on Sept. 2, in the Atlantic Ocean.
Hurricane Dorian: Category 5 right now, could it be a Category 6? No.
As Hurricane Dorian moves toward Florida's Atlantic coast, it has the potential to become one of the strongest storms of all time. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is how the National Hurricane Center measures the intensity of hurricanes. The scale breaks down hurricane categories based on the 1-minute sustained winds recorded in connection with the storm, according to the National Hurricane Center. A Category 1 hurricane, for instance, displays wind speeds between 74 to 95 mph. Conversely, a Category 5 hurricane has reached 157 mph or higher.
Kristen Davis watches the high surf from a boardwalk overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with her daughter Addie Davis, 4, as winds from Hurricane Dorian blow the fronds of a palm tree in Vero Beach, Fla., on Sept. 2.
People stand at the water's edge of the Atlantic Ocean as winds from Hurricane Dorian pick up on Sept. 2 in Vero Beach, Florida.
Dorian strikes Bahamas with record fury as Category 5 storm
McLEAN'S TOWN CAY, Bahamas (AP) — Hurricane Dorian struck the northern Bahamas as a catastrophic Category 5 storm Sunday, its record 185 mph (297 kph) winds ripping off roofs, overturning cars and tearing down power lines as hundreds hunkered down in schools, churches and shelters. Dorian slammed into Elbow Cay in Abaco island at 12:40 p.m., and then made a second landfall near Marsh Harbour at 2 p.m., after authorities made last-minute pleas for those in low-lying areas to evacuate. "It's devastating," said Joy Jibrilu, director general of the Bahamas' Ministry of Tourism and Aviation. "There has been huge damage to property and infrastructure. Luckily, no loss of life reported.
Amalie Hennech, left, and her daughter Alexis Garlini, writes directions to her home, after trying unsuccessfully to evacuate her elderly friend Jack, right, who has advanced medical issues, from the Fairlane Harbor Homes, a trailer park community next to Indian River, during a mandatory evacuation, in Vero Beach, Fla., on Sept. 2.
Hurricane Researcher Dr. Peter Black and Branch Chief of Technology and Science Mark De Maria view a screen showing the eye of the storm at the National Hurricane Center ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian on Sept. 1, in Miami, Florida.
Women sit on cots inside a church now serving as a shelter for residents waiting out Hurricane Dorian in Freeport on Grand Bahama, Bahamas, on Sept. 1.
Hurricane Dorian is picking up speed and size as it turns toward the Carolinas
As Hurricane Dorian grew in size Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center says residents who live in coastal communities of North Carolina and South Carolina should heed the advice of local officials and evacuate. Category 2 Dorian had lost some wind strength — down to 110 mph — but was slowly expanding in size, spreading out as much as 15 miles in all directions, according to the National Hurricane Center. “The center of Dorian is forecast to move near or over the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina Thursday through Friday morning,” the NHC reported in a 5 p.m. update.
A man stands on a store's roof as he works to prepare it for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian in Freeport on Grand Bahama, Bahamas, on Sept. 1.
Hurricane Dorian heads for the Carolinas, could bring 'life-threatening storm surge' to the coast
Hurricane Dorian strengthened into a Category 3 storm again Wednesday night, with sustained winds of 115 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Its core is forecast to approach the coast of South Carolina, near Charleston, on Wednesday night into Thursday morning, the hurricane center said. Downtown Charleston was experiencing flooding as a result of the storm early Thursday morning, the Charleston County Emergency Management told CNN. Dorian is expected to run parallel along the coast of the Carolinas into Friday. Any deviation to the left could bring the storm's center onshore, according to the NHC.
Florida's attorney general has received more than 2,400 reports of price gouging.
Consumers in parts of the state report cases of water selling for more than $9, more than double its regular cost, while some gas stations jacked up fuel prices.
It's illegal in Florida and many other states to boost prices for necessities during a state of emergency.
Storm Tracker: Click Here to Follow Dorian's Path
As Hurricane Dorian approaches Florida, local residents are having to cope with another type of storm surge: Price gouging. The state's attorney general has received more than 2,400 reports of price gouging, which occurs when merchants try to cash in by boosting prices of goods ahead of a natural disaster.
One gas station was selling 24-packs of Nestle's Pure Life water for $9, more than twice its normal retail cost, and other stations hiked prices at the pump by $1 more than advertised price.
"We are starting to hear about hotel pricing as evacuation orders come down," Kylie Mason, press secretary for Florida AG Ashley Moody, added in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.
While some may argue that rising prices merely reflect the difficulty of transporting goods during a storm, many states — including Florida — prohibit retailers from jacking up the cost of essentials like water and gas during a state of emergency. Florida's governor declared a state of emergency on Aug. 28 in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian, which has caused at least 5 deaths on the Abaco Islands.
Dorian lashes New England after leaving N.C.'s Outer Banks with 'catastrophic' flooding
Florida law bars retailers from boosting prices on "essential commodities" as well as dwelling units and self-storage facilities during a state of emergency, unless the retailer can justify the higher price because of market trends — for instance, if gas prices spiked nationally. Essential commodities include food, water and gas.
The Florida AG's office said it compares the price charged during the state of emergency to the average price for the 30 previous days. If there's a "gross disparity" between the two prices, the state considers that gouging. Businesses engaging in price gouging can face a fine of $1,000 per violation.
Suspected cases of price gouging in Florida can be reported to the state's dedicated hotline: (866) 9NO-SCAM. The state has also created an app for reporting price gouging called NO SCAM.