Hurricane Watch Net is now active (Update: no longer active) on 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz as tropical storm Dorian, expected to reach hurricane strength before landfall, passes to the north of Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and Dominican Republic before heading for the Florida and/or Georgia coast. (Update 8/29/19: Tropical Storm Dorian was upgraded to Category 1 Hurricane around 2pm Eastern time today. It is expected to make landfall in the US as a Category 4. Update 9/3/19: Hurricane Dorian has been downgraded from a category 5 to a category 2 hurricane. Update 9/4/19: Hurricane Dorian has re-intensified to a category 3 hurricane. Update 9/6/19: Dorian is now a category 1 hurricane.)
he Hurricane Watch Net has been in continuous operation since 5:00 PM EDT – 2100 UTC Saturday afternoon and will remain in operation until further notice.
Hurricane Dorian made landfall around 11:00 PM (0300 UTC) Sunday evening along the east end of Grand Bahama Island as a strong Cat 5 Hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 180 mph. After landfall, the storm all but stalled. 12 hours later with little to no movement, the storm still had Cat 5 winds of 155 mph.
After being over Grand Bahama Island as a stalled Hurricane, after 36-hours of barely drifting across the island, Dorian finally began to move away with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph.
Member of the Hurricane Watch Net have been reading the latest bulletins and updates as well as making calls to the islands for any reports…checking on their well-being, any weather data, damage reports, etc. However, when a storm is stalled over an area beginning with sustained winds of 180 mph and slowly dropping to 110 mph, that amount of high wind and continuous storm surge, major catastrophic damage is to be expected.
Video recorded by recon helicopters over Abacos Island on Tuesday began to reveal the extent of damage caused by Dorian. What we saw is just absolutely heartbreaking. Overnight, Dorian pulled away from Grand Bahama Island. I’m sure we will get an idea to the extent of damage to the island by way of recon aircraft today as well as feet on the ground with help.
The Hurricane Watch Net will continue to make calls to the Bahamian Islands for survivors and to collect and pass any and all emergency or priority traffic from the area…
From Florida Division of Emergency Management:
Residents should have 7 days of supplies in preparation of hurricane . A stocked supply kit has water, nonperishable food, prescription medications, flashlights and extra batteries…
From the ARRL:
Over the weekend, on Saturday, Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency (PREMA) Commissioner Carlos Acevedo urged the island’s resident to put into effect the Family Plan the agency has suggested for emergencies. This includes ensuring a first line of defense in terms of water, canned goods, medicines, batteries, and fuel for power generators. Residents heeded the advice, heading out to markets around the island to purchase water and supplies, and later that day, hundreds of people went to supermarkets to buy water and other supplies in larger-than-usual quantities. By Sunday, vendors were limiting bottled water to between two and five packages, depending on locale.
The government of Puerto Rico is assuring the public that it’s better prepared than it was for Hurricanes Irma and Maria 2 years ago. New Commonwealth Governor Wanda Vázquez has been meeting with agency heads to make sure storm preparation plans are in place.
“About 30,000 people still have blue roofs installed in the wake of Irma and Maria,” Puerto Rico PIO Angel Santana, WP3GW, told ARRL. He said this situation presents a primary safety concern for those affected residents.
8/29/19 Update: Parts of Florida are already experiencing bottled water and fuel shortages as people prepare for the coming storm.
Speaking to the Orlando Sentinel, Orlando resident Nicholas Boyd said during the last storm, the art teacher had put off stocking up on supplies a little too long,
“Last time, I put it off a little too long, and there was none left,” the 35-year-old Boyd said, adding that he wanted to be “a little more proactive” this time around. And he isn’t alone: Home Depot said it had already sent some 160 truckloads of various products to stores in Florida so far.
“We have five distribution centers in the Southeast working to get more materials to stores as quickly as they can,” a spokesperson said, adding that the chain is “prioritizing those in-demand items like generators, batteries, water and plywood.”
Reporting from a Publix in Baldwin Park, the Orlando Sentinel noted that shelves of water were left largely empty, and employee were offering customers bottles of Fiji water instead of the large multi-gallon jugs they were looking for.
“We like to get the 5-gallon jugs because we have a dispenser at home, but they’re out of those,” said 37-year-old Orlando resident Shannon Taylor, a professor at the University of Central Florida’s college of business. “So instead I went into the aisle with the bottled water, and they didn’t have any, but right when I was walking out of there, one of the Publix employees came with a cart of a few extra boxes of Fiji.”