Hurricane Dorian on Friday afternoon was upgraded to a Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds as it continues to barrel toward Florida’s east coast.
Florida is under a state of emergency as residents prepare for what’s forecast to be the worst storm to hit the coastal region in nearly three decades.
Dorian is set to strengthen to a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds by the time it makes landfall in Florida, which is expected to be overnight on Monday and into Tuesday.
The beaches of Florida are mostly bare heading into the holiday weekend, as tourists hunker down or head home to avoid the wrath of a storm that could be the biggest to hit the region since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Meantime, Floridians are bracing for the impact, lining up at gas stations and grocery stores as authorities urge them to stockpile a week’s worth of food and supplies. Many are also boarding up homes and businesses to try to reduce damage from high winds and water expected to come with the storm.
“It’s looking like it could be an absolute monster,” President Donald Trump said of Dorian in a video posted on Twitter. “All indicators are it’s going to hit very hard and be very big.”
Hurricane Andrew was originally believed to be a Category 4 storm, but was reclassified in 2005 as a Category 5, according to CNN, with winds around 165 mph.
Its path included northwestern Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana, and it caused between $25 billion and $27 billion in damage.