After pouring torrential rains on the Bahamas, Isaias was heading Saturday evening towards the coast of Florida, one of the American states most affected by the Covid-19 epidemic. It was downgraded from Category 1 hurricane to tropical storm.
At around 5:00 p.m. local time (11:00 p.m. in Switzerland), Isaias was advancing in the Strait of Florida between the Keys archipelago and Cuba, with winds of up to 110 km / h. The Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm would amplify and revert to a hurricane overnight as it approached southeast Florida before advancing to the east coast of the peninsula.
The region was already enduring heavy rains on Saturday afternoon. “We’ll start to see the impacts of the storm tonight, and then obviously tomorrow through tomorrow night,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said. Palm Beach County has issued a voluntary evacuation notice, he said.
“Isaias is expected to remain a hurricane until Monday, followed by a gradual weakening Monday night or Tuesday,” the NHC said.
State of emergency declared
Roads submerged in mud, high-voltage lines torn off, decapitated trees and vegetation, flooded houses: Isaias has already done a lot of damage since Thursday in Puerto Rico, American territory, in the Dominican Republic not to mention the Bahamas.
The Republican Governor of Florida on Friday declared a state of emergency for counties on the state’s east coast, from Miami-Dade to Nassau, which was approved by United States President Donald Trump on Saturday, allowing the ‘granting of funds. “This will help our state respond quickly to any damage,” Mr. DeSantis tweeted.
The passage of the hurricane over Florida comes at a time when this state in the southeast of the United States is already grappling with a sharp upsurge in the pandemic due to the new coronavirus. “The Covid is serious. A hurricane is serious. If we combine them, the result is worse than the sum of the two […] This will have a multiplier effect, not cumulative ”, judged in April a former head of emergency management services in this state.
Florida deplored on Saturday 179 deaths linked to the new coronavirus in one day, a toll down slightly, after the records of the previous days (257 dead Friday, 253 dead Thursday, 216 Wednesday, 186 Tuesday).