Here’s what to know in South Florida on August 1

We’re keeping track of the latest news regarding Hurricane Isaias in South Florida and around the state and Caribbean. Check back for updates throughout the day.

Hurricane Isaias more likely to scrape Florida coast instead of hitting it, NHC says

11:40 a.m.: Odds of a Florida landfall for Hurricane Isaias appear to be decreasing as the storm made landfall on Andros Island in the Bahamas Saturday morning.

Saturday morning updates from the National Hurricane Center showed the predictions for worst impacts have inched north and later, leaving Miami-Dade and Broward comfortably out of the cone. Despite that, Isaias’ windfield is large enough that tropical-storm-force winds could be felt as far as Homestead, although the chances of that keep getting lower with each update.

Read the story here.

One county’s test-run for managing a hurricane during a pandemic

11:30 a.m.: Isaias brought a test-run for Miami-Dade’s plans to manage a hurricane during a pandemic. The county didn’t open any shelters, alter its transit schedule or take any major steps beyond closing parks and marinas ahead of Isias. Saturday’s forecast left county administrators more confident.

“This looks good for Miami-Dade,” Mayor Carlos Gimenez said at an online press conference at the county’s Emergency Operations Center in Doral. “You’ll have some wind and some rain.”

Under normal times, a storm emergency would have the center’s main room staffed by dozens of people assigned to stations sharing long tables. On Saturday, the place was relatively empty as the county shifted to a “virtual” center with various county agencies, utilities and local governments remaining at home or from other locations.

Miami-Dade government already had a “ring” of hard-wired communications allowing county computers to connect even if Internet service halts. Frank Rollason, the county’s emergency director, said Florida Power and Light, which usually would have a representative at the EOC during a storm, now has a direct connection to the ring system. “If Wi-Fi were to go down, they would be connected with us,” he said.

“It’s not a perfect system. But with what we’re facing today with COVID, we’re trying to avoid packing all of those people into the EOC,” Rollason said.

Inside the main room, the county retro-fitted the facility to make staffing safer during a pandemic. Plastic barriers were installed between stations.

On the ceiling, new fans equipped with ultra-violet lights suck in air in an effort to disinfect COVID that may be present in aerosols — extremely light particles expelled when someone speaks, breaths and coughs.

Miami-Dade, Broward mayors’ advisories

10:30 a.m.: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Broward County Mayor Dale V.C. Holness both stressed last-minute storm preparations as Isaias slowed in the Atlantic. Both counties should not feel the brunt of the storm’s winds but parks and COVID testing sites are closed. Airports are currently operating.

Miami-Dade’s alert.

Broward’s alert.

Morning update from National Weather Service

9:45 a.m.: Isaias has slowed a bit, which will mean South Florida will see most of the impacts from the hurricane in the evening into Sunday morning. A few tornadoes could spin off from the squalls.

How much will Florida feel? Hurricane Isaias slows as it soaks Bahamas, threatens coast

8:15 a.m.: As of the 8 a.m. update, Isaias was 50 miles south of Nassau and had maximum sustained wind speeds of 85 mph.

Saturday morning, Boca Raton to Brevard County remained under a hurricane warning, which means hurricane-force-winds were expected in the next 36 hours. A hurricane watch, which means hurricane conditions are possible in the next 48 hours, was in place from Hallandale Beach to just south of Boca Raton, as well as Brevard and Volusia County.

Southeast Florida from Ocean Reef north to Boca Raton and Lake Okeechobee remained under a tropical storm warning.

Miami-Dade and Broward could start seeing tropical-storm-force winds Saturday evening.

Read the story here.

As Hurricane Isaias crosses Bahamas, hurricane shelters could become COVID ‘tinder box’

A man carries drinking water for a customer at a water depot store before the arrival of Hurricane Isaias in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Friday, July 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Tim Aylen)
A man carries drinking water for a customer at a water depot store before the arrival of Hurricane Isaias in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Friday, July 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Tim Aylen)

8 a.m.: With Hurricane Isaias making its way through the Bahamas chain, residents who may not feel safe in their flood-prone homes are being advised to first seek shelter with host families and only go to a shelter if they need to.

“If you find there is nobody to host you then you need to report to one of the shelters so that you and your family can be safe,” Lillian Quant-Forbes, the director of social services, said Friday.

The advice comes as the country is experiencing a surge in coronavirus infections.

Read the story here.

There’s more than Isaias in the Atlantic. Hurricane center watching two more systems

7:50 a.m.: Two more weather systems are being tracked by the National Hurricane Center. Both are hundreds of miles from the Caribbean or the United States and pose no threat as of yet.

In a 5 a.m. advisory, the hurricane center said one of the systems is a tropical depression, the tenth this hurricane season. It is forecast to become a remnant on Saturday. On Friday, the depression was forecast to form into “a short-lived tropical storm.”

Tropical Depression 10 is about 200 miles east of the Cabo Verde Islands off Africa and is expected to continue north of the Islands later Saturday.

Read the story here.

Hurricane Isaias continues to cross Bahamas as Florida braces for a possible impact

7:45 a.m.: Hurricane Isaias’ potential path shifted west again Friday evening, upping the chances of a landfall along the southeast coast of Florida — possibly as a tropical storm — on Sunday.

The 5 a.m.. update from the National Hurricane Center said strong winds and heavy rains continue over the central Bahamas as the storm approaches Andros Island. Isaias was about 80 miles south of Nassau and was packing 85 mph winds.

The projection showed Isaias potentially scraping the beaches of Palm Beach County around 2 a.m. Sunday . Another shift west or even a wobble as it approaches could expose communities to the stronger winds around Isaias’ core.

Read the story here.

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