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30 Aug, 2019 01:23

‘Could be an absolute monster’: Trump battens down the hatches for Hurricane Dorian

‘Could be an absolute monster’: Trump battens down the hatches for Hurricane Dorian

US President Donald Trump is warning Florida residents they may have to evacuate as the state braces for Hurricane Dorian, which “could be an absolute monster” as it strengthens into a category 4 storm.

Hurricane Dorian is “looking like it could be an absolute monster,” the president said on Thursday in a video posted on Twitter, as the storm picked up speed and size over the Atlantic Ocean.

Trump warned Floridians that “it may be that you’re going to evacuate” as the storm is “building at a tremendous rate.” While “it looked like it was going to be a very small storm” at first, missing Puerto Rico and doing relatively little damage to the US Virgin Islands, “it really began to form and form big” after that, he explained.

All indications are it’s going to hit very hard, and it’s going to be very big,” he reiterated, “at least as big as Andrew, and if you remember Andrew from many years ago, it was not good.

Florida Governor Rick DeSantis urged residents to “make the necessary preparations” and monitor the storm, though there remains significant uncertainty as to where it will make landfall – anywhere from the Florida Keys to southern Georgia. All counties in Florida have declared an emergency, as did several counties in Georgia, and residents are bracing for winds estimated to reach 130 miles per hour, heavy rains, and flooding.

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The looming hurricane upended Trump’s schedule, forcing him to cancel a planned trip to Poland and send Vice President Mike Pence in his place for a visit commemorating the start of World War II. Announcing the change of plans at a ceremony marking the establishment of the US Space Command, Trump declared “Our highest priority is the safety and security of the American people in the path of the hurricane,” promising to visit Poland “in the near future.”

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