MIAMI (CNN) – Hurricane Dorian is rapidly intensifying and the National Hurricane Center is now predicting the storm could strengthen to a Category 4 before making landfall along the east coast of Florida by Monday.
Residents across region are bracing for the worst, and clearing out store shelves of supplies in preparation.
After delivering a glancing blow to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the storm is picking up energy over the Atlantic Ocean and setting its sights on the sunshine state.
“All Floridians need to monitor Hurricane Dorian,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
Forecasters say Dorian is difficult to predict, but models are showing today the hurricane could at least double in size before slamming into Florida by labor day.
A state of emergency has been declared in several Florida counties, where local, state, and federal officials are mobilizing resources.
“We were ready in Puerto Rico and we’re very ready also in Florida,” President Donald Trump said.
“Today I’m gonna be requesting a pre-landfall declaration from the federal government for protective measures,” Gov. DeSantis said.
Authorities are warning residents to take precautions.
“You should have seven days of food and medicine and water as part of your plan.”
Across the state, store shelves are emptying and lines at gas stations are building up as residents heed advice, stocking up before Dorian arrives
“Just getting prepared before the storm comes.”
The us coast guard issued safety advisories and warned those eager to celebrate the Labor Day holiday to steer clear of the beaches
“While I can appreciate there may be some desire to seek a thrill and head into the water, you really are taking your life in your hands,” Voice of Capt. Jo-Ann Burdian, of the U.S. Coast Guard, said.