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Trump approves emergency orders over Hurricane Dorian

The declarations authorise the Federal Emergency Management Agency to co-ordinate disaster relief efforts.

Donald Trump (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Donald Trump (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

By Associated Press Reporters

Donald Trump has approved emergency declarations for the US states of Georgia and South Carolina due to Hurricane Dorian.

The US president approved the declarations on Sunday and the White House announced them on Monday.

The declarations authorise the Federal Emergency Management Agency to co-ordinate disaster relief efforts.

Mr Trump was briefed on the hurricane during a visit to Fema headquarters in Washington on Sunday.

He urged everyone in Dorian’s path to obey warnings and evacuation orders issued by local authorities, saying public safety “must always come first”.

Mr Trump approved an emergency declaration for Florida on Friday.

The announcement came as the Category 4 storm unleashed massive flooding across the Bahamas, shredding roofs, hurling cars and forcing even rescue crews to take shelter.

In the US, the National Hurricane Centre extended watches and warnings across the Florida and Georgia coasts. Forecasters expect Dorian to stay just off shore, but meteorologist Daniel Brown cautioned that “only a small deviation” could draw the storm’s dangerous core toward land.

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(PA Graphics)

By Monday afternoon, the storm’s top sustained winds had fallen to 145mph.

On Sunday, Dorian’s maximum sustained winds reached 185mph with gusts up to 220mph, tying the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane to make landfall.

That equalled the Labour Day hurricane of 1935, before storms were named. The only recorded storm that was more powerful was Hurricane Allen in 1980, with 190mph winds, although it did not make landfall at that strength.

Forecasters said Dorian is likely to begin pulling away from the Bahamas early on Tuesday and curving to the north east parallel to the south-eastern coast of the US.

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(PA Graphics)

The system is expected to spin 40 to 50 miles off Florida with hurricane-force wind speeds extending about 35 miles to the west.

An advisory from the hurricane centre warned that Florida’s east-central coast could see a brief tornado some time on Monday afternoon or evening.

South Carolina governor Henry McMaster issued an order on Sunday for the mandatory evacuation of his state’s entire coast. The order, which covers about 830,000 people, means state troopers can make all lanes on major coastal highways one-way heading inland.

“We can’t make everybody happy, but we believe we can keep everyone alive,” Mr McMaster said.

A few hours later, Georgia governor Brian Kemp ordered mandatory evacuations for his Atlantic coast.

Authorities in Florida ordered mandatory evacuations in some vulnerable coastal areas. North Carolina governor Roy Cooper warned his state that it could see heavy rain, winds and floods later in the week.

PA

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