Hurricane Dorian strengthens to ‘dangerous’ Category 4 storm as 130mph winds rage towards Trump’s Florida resort and Disney – The Sun

HURRICANE Dorian has strengthened to a “dangerous” Category 4 storm with 130mph winds raging towards Trump’s resort and Disney World.

The US President said his prized Mar-a-Lago estate is in the path of the potentially deadly storm, which is expected to be extremely destructive.

As many as 10 million people will be caught in the crosshairs when it makes landfall in the US along Florida's heavily populated eastern coast.

The hurricane could wallop Florida with 140mph winds and torrential rains late Monday or early Tuesday.

When asked how concerned he was about the hurricane threat to his resort, Trump said: “It would look like Mar-a-Lago is dead center but look Mar-a-Lago can handle itself.

“That's a very powerful place."

He added: "The thing I'm worried about is the state of Florida because … this could be a record-setting hurricane.

“Now maybe things change. We're hoping for one element that might happen and that's that it makes a right turn and goes up north just prior to or equal to hitting shore.

“That would be great, but that's a pretty small percentage at this point."

Hurricanes have always been a part of Mar-a-Lago.

In 2005, Trump said he received a $17 million insurance payment for hurricane damage to the resort.

The National Hurricane Centre’s most recent track for Dorian places Mar-a-Lago in eye of a fierce storm with winds of almost 140 mph (225 kph).

On Friday, the centre said Dorian had just reached "extremely dangerous" Category 4 status with winds already clocking 130 mph (215 kph).

Forecasters remain uncertain over whether it would make a direct hit on the state's east coast or inflict a glancing blow.

Disney World is also on alert as Hurricane Dorian barrels across the Atlantic Ocean towards Florida.

A spokesman said the Orlando resort is “operating under normal conditions” but they are “closely monitoring the path of the projected weather”.

The resort has cancelled weekend sporting events and closing Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park on Sunday.

They are also contacting guests with current and upcoming reservations at a number of campgrounds, cabins and villas.

Jessica Armesto and her one-year-old daughter, Mila, had planned to have breakfast with Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy at Disney World.

Instead, Armesto decided to take shelter at her mother's hurricane-resistant house in Miami with its kitchen full of non-perishable foods.

"It felt like it was better to be safe than sorry, so we cancelled our plans," she said.

As Dorian closed in, the storm upended people's Labor Day weekend plans.

Major airlines began allowing travellers to change their reservations without a fee.

The big cruise lines began rerouting their ships.

Homeowners and businesses rushed to cover their windows with plywood.

Supermarkets ran out of bottled water, and long lines formed at gas stations, with fuel shortages reported in places.

The governor said the Florida Highway Patrol would begin escorting fuel trucks to help them get past the lines of waiting motorists and replenish gas stations.

At a Publix supermarket in Cocoa Beach, Ed Ciecirski of the customer service department said the pharmacy was extra busy with people rushing to fill prescriptions.

The grocery was rationing bottled water and had run out of dry ice.

Coastal areas could get 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30cm) of rain, with 18 inches (46cm) in some places, triggering life-threatening flash floods, the hurricane center said.

FEMA official Jeff Byard said Dorian is likely to "create a lot of havoc" for roads, power and other infrastructure.

The Bahamas is also under threat, with canned food and bottled water disappearing quickly and the sound of hammering echoed across the islands as people boarded up their homes.

Dorian was expected to hit by Sunday with the potential for life-threatening storm surge that could raise water levels 15 feet above normal.

"Do not be foolish and try to brave out this hurricane," Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said.

"The price you may pay for not evacuating is your life."

In Florida, the governor urged nursing homes to take precautions to prevent tragedies like the one during Hurricane Irma two years ago.

That storm knocked out the air conditioning at a facility in Hollywood and 12 patients died in the sweltering heat.

Four employees of the home were charged with manslaughter earlier this week.

DeSantis said the timely message from those arrests is: "It's your responsibility to make sure you have a plan in place to protect those folks."

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, NASA moved a 380-foot-high mobile launch platform to the safety of the colossal Vehicle Assembly Building, built to withstand 125 mph (200 kph) wind.

The launcher is for the mega rocket that NASA is developing to take astronauts to the moon.

The hurricane season typically peaks between mid-August and late October.

One of the most powerful storms ever to hit the US was on Labor Day in 1935.

When that unnamed Category 5 hurricane crashed ashore along Florida's Gulf Coast it was blamed for more than 400 deaths.

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