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Tropical Storm Dorian Could Become the First Notable Hurricane of 2019

Tropical Storm Dorian is expected to become Hurricane Dorian in the coming days and could create life-threatening flooding, landslides and power outages in areas that are still recovering from past storms.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm Warning and a Hurricane Watch for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, saying the storm may well be a hurricane as it hits Puerto Rico. This will be the U.S. territory’s biggest test since being decimated by Hurricane Maria two years ago.

Dorian is also presenting a threat to the Florida panhandle, with the NHS saying some areas could see between 4 and (in some isolated areas) 10 inches of rain, causing flash floods. Florida is still recovering from Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm that slammed into the area just east of Panama City Beach, Fla. including Mexico Beach and Tyndall Air Force Base with wind speeds of 155 mph.

Forecasters say Dorian could be a Category 2 hurricane by the time it reaches Florida on or around Labor Day. The cone of uncertainty also puts the Georgia coastline in the potential path of the storm. Officials in South Carolina are closely monitoring the storm as well.

Puerto Rico faces the immediate threat, though. The territory is already under a state of emergency ordered by President Donald Trump and its new governor. Trump, however, took a political shot at San Juan’s mayor for his criticism of the administration’s reaction to Maria.

As of 11am ET, Dorian was packing sustained winds of near 70mph, four mph below the classification of a Category 1 hurricane. Tropical storm force winds extend 80 miles from the center of the storm.

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