Hurricane Isaias Douses Bahamas, Heads To Virus-hit Florida
Miami, Aug 2 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 2nd Aug, 2020 ) :Hurricane Isaias dumped torrential rain on the Bahamas Saturday as it rumbled toward Florida -- the first big test for the storm-prone US state reeling from the coronavirus crisis.
"The most important thing we want people to do now is remain vigilant." NASA was carefully tracking the storm. The space agency was monitoring whether the SpaceX Crew Dragon could safely bring its two astronauts back from the International Space Station for a splashdown Sunday in the Gulf of Mexico.
In the Bahamas, the deputy director of the country's meteorology department, Jeffrey Simmons, told The Nassau Guardian "the worst part" of the storm came to New Providence, the most populous island, early Saturday.
It is the archipelago's first hurricane since Dorian, a category five storm last year that devastated two islands, pummeling them for three days.
Florida residents rushed to stock up on essentials as Isaias -- the ninth named storm of the Atlantic season and the second hurricane -- began to be felt on the southeastern coast.
"This stuff is all very much in flux," DeSantis said.
Jason Woodall, 44, was boarding up the Miami Beach store where he works, while others nearby piled sand bags.
"You always got to be prepared, just in case, because you never know," he said. "It could always strengthen.
"Remember a couple of years ago? It stopped right outside, then spun and gained a huge amount of strength," he said, referring to Hurricane Michael, a powerful category five storm that struck the area in 2018.
While DeSantis did not expect many storm-based evacuations -- which would be difficult given that shelters are usually crowded and social distancing would be hard -- he said hospitals could be forced to move some patients, depending on power outages and flash flooding.
On Saturday, Florida reported another 179 deaths, setting a new state record and pushing its virus death toll to 6,843.
The state's emergency management division explained that the testing centers are housed in tents and could not withstand the high winds.
Isaias left a shambles in Puerto Rico, downing trees and electric lines and inundating houses as it cut a path through the island on Thursday.
And in the Dominican Republic, locals were cleaning up after the Magua river broke its banks.