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US states declare emergency over hurricane Dorian

Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency, clearing the way to bring in more fuel and call out the National Guard if necessary, and local governments distributed sandbags.

SNS | New Delhi |

The US states of Florida and Georgia on Thursday declared a state of emergency as the powerful hurricane Dorian is expected to hit the region in the days ahead.

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida expanded the state of the emergency declaration he issued for 26 counties to one that covers all of the 67 counties in the state “due to hurricane Dorian’s uncertain projected path”, Xinhua news agency reported.

“All residents, especially those along the east coast, need to be prepared for possible impacts,” DeSantis said in a statement.

The National Hurricane Center said the Category 1 storm is expected to strengthen into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 with winds of 130 metres per hour (209 kilometres per hour) and slam into the US on Monday somewhere between the Florida Keys and southern Georgia — a 500-mile stretch that reflected the high degree of uncertainty this far out.

Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency, clearing the way to bring in more fuel and call out the National Guard if necessary, and local governments distributed sandbags. Some residents used community Facebook groups to share updates on grocery stores getting new shipments of water.

President Donald Trump said that he decided to cancel a planned trip to Poland during the weekend and stay in Washington “to ensure that all resources of the federal government are focused on the coming storm”.

Speaking at the Rose Garden of the White House, Trump said Vice President Mike Pence will travel in his place.

“It’s something very important for me to be here. The storm looks like it could be a very, very big one indeed.”

Meanwhile, airlines have cancelled 83 flights to, from and within the US, according to FlightAware.com.

Seventy-eight flights were cancelled Thursday and five have been cancelled for Friday.

More flights were likely to be cancelled on Sunday.

(With IANS inputs)