Hurricane Isaias gathers force as it heads for Florida’s coast; Southeast

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Updated 6:00 AM EST Aug 1st, 2020

Several states in the U.S. Southeast were bracing early Saturday as Hurricane Isaias approached — expecting it to impact the region this weekend and early next week.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Friday for all of the state’s counties along the Atlantic coast. The declaration affects 19 of Florida’s 67 counties, and all beaches, marinas and parks have been closed in those areas. Twenty evacuation centers were on standby as well.

The hurricane, which forecasters say could reach the shores of Florida first, was expected to hit “as early as late tonight into tomorrow morning, with the potential to increase in strength to Category 2 [hurricane],” DeSantis said at a news conference.

As of 5 a.m. EDT Saturday, the hurricane was at Category 1 with winds up to 85 mph, and was expected to continue strengthening.

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