Tropical storm Emily moves west in Caribbean. Will it hit US coast?
Forecasters say tropical storm Emily poses a more immediate threat to the Dominican Republic and Cuba, but it could become a minimal hurricane off the east coast of Florida this weekend.
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Although it’s still early, the National Hurricane Center currently expects the storm to successfully cross Hispanola, move west of the Bahamas and then move up the east coast of Florida. On Saturday it would be off Ft. Lauderdale and by Sunday off Jacksonville.Skip to next paragraph
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FEMA, in a release issued Tuesday, says it is monitoring the situation and urged coastal residents to be prepared.
Even though Florida may be in the path of the storm, many Sunshine State residents haven’t started to put the hurricane shutters up yet.
“I haven’t started preparing yet, but maybe I should,” says Lesly Cardec, a resident of Boynton Beach. “I have plywood and things ready to go should it turn into something we should be concerned about.”
Another Floridian, Karen Audet of Ft. Lauderdale, says she hasn’t seen people lining up for water and perishables at the grocery stores yet. “I would say people are less concerned,” says Ms. Audet who has hurricane windows installed in her home. “The only preparations we have to make are to take down our pool fence and get the chairs around the pool in the house.”
Audet says that all summer long trucks have been trimming trees in her neighborhood to eliminate the possibility of a dead branch falling on a power line. In addition, the local utility has installed more cement utility poles after hurricane Wilma, a Category 2 storm in 2005, snapped the wooden poles resulting in a loss of power for 15 days.
Even before there was a prospect of Emily moving up the coast, the city of Ft. Lauderdale had planned to hold preparedness exercises on Wednesday, says Mayor John Seiler.
“We have a new city manager and he just wants to be sure he’s 100 percent comfortable with the preparations,” says Mr. Seiler, adding, “We feel pretty well prepared and confident if and when it comes.”
Further north, in Jupiter, Jill Palmer says it’s too early in the hurricane season to get worked up over the storm.
“It’s like a blizzard in Thanksgiving – no one wants to pay any attention to it,” says Ms. Palmer, who says she will start to pay more attention on Thursday or Friday.
“My kids won’t let me watch The Weather Channel, they hype the storms so much,” she says.