Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said during a press conference Sept. 3 that although Hurricane Dorian had been downgraded, “this is still a very serious storm,” one that will impact northeastern Florida.
“We will feel major impacts from this storm,” Curry said, imploring people in the evacuation zones, low-lying areas and manufactured homes to leave. “This is your last chance to evacuate.”
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said as of 10:30 a.m. Sept. 3, there was no traffic congestion, particularly on Interstates 95 and 10, preventing residents from evacuating. “Traffic is not an issue.”
At some point, however, Jacksonville’s bridges will be closed.
“Once sustained winds reach 40 miles per hour, the bridges will be closed and not reopen until the storm passes,” Williams said, adding that he expected the closures to happen overnight.
— Kim Link-Wills
Ports close as Dorian approaches
Florida’a JAXPORT is closed until further notice as the U.S. braces for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian.
The Coast Guard gave Port Everglades and PortMiami permission to resume operations in the afternoon of Sept. 3. Port Everglades said the first vessel was slated to arrive at 6 p.m. Sept. 3.
A Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) spokesman said Sept. 3 it continues to “closely monitor the path and strength of Hurricane Dorian.”
The spokesman said the ports of Savannah and Brunswick in Georgia would be closed Sept. 3 and 4 and that GPA would send out an advisory when they would reopen.
The Port of Charleston in South Carolina was open Sept. 3 but is slated to be closed Sept. 4 and 5.
As of midday Sept. 3, the North Carolina ports of Wilmington and Morehead City were operating under normal gate hours. However, no reefer cargo for export was being received at the Port of Wilmington.
Based on the forecast track and anticipated arrival of tropical storm winds, commercial gate hours at Wilmington and Morehead City will be 7 a.m. to noon on Sept. 4, North Carolina Ports said.
The Port of Virginia in Norfolk is monitoring conditions but has no announced closures.
TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico said it is “closely monitoring the weather system in the Caribbean and working to ensure your cargo is safe.”
TOTE said the vessel Perla Del Caribe “is following safely behind the storm and we will bring her into JAX when the storm passes and the port/terminal in JAX is safe/ready. ”
TOTE said the Isla Bella was completing discharge in San Juan on Sept. 3 and was expected to depart later in the day.
“The Isla Bella vessel will also follow safely behind the storm and we will position her arrival into JAX when the storm passes,” TOTE said.
In the hard-hit Bahamas, Nassau ports are open and operating on a normal schedule. Grand Bahama Island’s Freeport Harbour is closed.
While Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau is open, both Grand Bahama International Airport and Leonard Thompson International Airport in Abaco remained closed.
Meanwhile, relief efforts are underway in the Bahamas.
— Chris Dupin
Lowe’s delivers 4,000 truckloads of supplies
Lowe’s spokesman Steve Salazar said the home improvement store has shipped “more than 4,000 truckloads of emergency supplies to regions that could be affected by Hurricane Dorian.”
Stores also are receiving additional cleanup supplies, including wheelbarrows, chainsaws, brooms, dehumidifiers and DampRid, to help people with post-storm recovery, Salazar said.
Lowe’s has more than 220 stores in Dorian’s potential path.
— Eric Kulisch
UPS issues pickup and delivery alert
UPS Inc. (NYSE:UPS) said in an online alert that pickups and deliveries within 531 ZIP codes in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina will be affected by Dorian.
UPS said it will not provide pickups or deliveries in areas under mandatory evacuation orders.
— Mark Solomon
Free Uber and Lyft rides in Florida
News Channel 8 in Tampa, FL, reported that Uber and Lyft are providing free rides to those needing transportation to and from state-approved evacuation shelters.
Florida evacuation shelters are listed at FloridaDisaster.org/info.
— Corrie White