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Long Island forecasters tracking Hurricane Dorian; impact on Island still unclear

A man stands on a store's roof as

A man stands on a store's roof as he works to prepare it for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian in Freeport on Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sunday, Sept. 1. Photo Credit: AP/Ramon Espinosa

As residents of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas prepare for Hurricane Dorian, meteorologists said Sunday it’s still too early to predict how the Category 5 storm will impact Long Island — if at all.

The hurricane struck the northern Bahamas on Sunday as a catastrophic Category 5 storm, its record 185 mph winds ripping off roofs and tearing down power lines as hundreds hunkered in schools, churches and other shelters.  

But which states it may impact and when is still unclear, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Dorian hit land in Elbow Cay in the Abaco Islands at 12:40 p.m., and then made a second landfall near Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island at 2 p.m., after authorities made last-minute pleas for those in low-lying areas to evacuate.

The hurricane is moving at about 8 mph, with its center located about 35 miles east of Great Abaco Island and 225 miles east of West Palm Beach at 8 a.m. Sunday, the advisory said.

"The hurricane should move closer to the Florida east coast late Monday through Tuesday night," the advisory said.

As of 8 a.m. Sunday, a tropical storm warning is in effect for Florida north of Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet and a tropical storm watch is in effect for north of Golden Beach to Deerfield Beach.

While meteorologists predict the hurricane's exact location, the advisory pointed out that hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles. 

Meteorologists are using high-altitude weather balloons to track the storm, and at the National Weather Service in Upton, they are sending out four balloons a day, up from their usual twice-daily flights.

“These are done all over the country and all over the world at the same time," National Weather Service meteorologist Carlie Buccola said Sunday. “This gives meteorologists a snapshot of what’s going on at the same time to really sample the atmosphere.”

Meteorologists send out more weather balloons before a hurricane, blizzard or “any type of event we think will make a significant impact to life and property,” Buccola said.

With the AP

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