Donald Trump slams 'corrupt' Puerto Rico as Hurricane Dorian skirts island

Workers put up storm shutters to protect a store in Humacao Puerto Rico

Dorian Now a Hurricane, Could Become First Cat 3

"All of the intensity models forecast Dorian to begin strengthening again soon, and rapid intensification could occur", cautioned the National Hurricane Center in their Thursday morning bulletin.

Polk County may see stronger winds though, depending on the path of Dorian, and we can't rule out hurricane force winds in parts of the Tampa Bay region.

But the threat is not over just yet as Dorian is forecast to strengthen into a "powerful hurricane" as it heads toward Florida and other parts of East Coast of US.

The US National Hurricane Centre said its maximum sustained winds had increased to 85 miles per hour as the storm moved north-west at 13mph. "Still moving northwest at 13 [mph]", said Van Denton, FOX8 Chief Meteorologist.

"We hoped to have a little more clarity today, but looking at the new data there are a lot of mixed signals, so I don't think forecaster confidence has increased any, except that the east coast of Florida is likely going to contend with a major hurricane as we get into Labor Day", he said.

The National Hurricane Center said the Category 2 storm is expected to strengthen into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 with winds of 130 miles per hour (209 kph) and slam into the USA on Monday somewhere between the Florida Keys and southern Georgia - a 500-mile (805-kilometer) stretch that reflected the high degree of uncertainty this far out. The storm is expected to continue northwest Thursday and then potentially turn more western starting Friday evening, according to CNN meteorologist Rob Shackelford.

"If it makes landfall as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane, that's a big deal, " said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy.

President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency and ordered federal assistance for the U.S. Virgin Islands as Hurricane Dorian moves away from the islands.

Earlier in the day, Dorian ploughed through the US Virgin islands and Culebra, an island belonging to Puerto Rico, data from the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) showed.

"Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday, and remain an extremely risky hurricane through the weekend", the hurricane centre said, warning of an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge along portions of Florida's east coast late in the weekend.

President Trump canceled his weekend trip to Poland and warned Florida residents to be prepared.

Wind speed probabilities for Hurricane Dorian as it makes its way towards the USA coast.

Dorian is somewhat compact, which could keep wind damage confined, Miller said.

The National Hurricane Center has issued warnings about the risk of high winds, heavy rains and flash floods associated with the storm.

The U.S. Air Force base in Cape Canaveral, Florida said it has cut off power for non-essential facilities and urged base residents to prepare for possible hurricane-force winds.

"Every Florida resident should have seven days of supplies, including food, water and medicine, and should have a plan in case of disaster", the statement said. "The more we hear about this storm, it sounds like a serious one".

One man died after falling from the roof of his house while cleaning a drain in preparation for the storm, Puerto Rico Public safety Secretary Elmer Roman said.

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