Maryland rescue crews were dispatched Labor Day weekend to Florida as the coastal state braces for a hit from Category 4 Hurricane Dorian.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency dispatched the Montgomery County-based Maryland Task Force One and other regional emergency rescue crews to head to Florida before the storm strikes, according to Montgomery fire and rescue spokesman Pete Piringer.
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service’s Baltimore/Washington forecast office said Friday afternoon that they expect Dorian to stay “well to our south” through next week. However, a hurricane watch may be required Saturday afternoon for portions of Florida’s east coast.
The core of Dorian should move over the Atlantic well north of the southeastern and central Bahamas Saturday and is expected to be near or over the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday before moving near the Florida east coast late Monday through Tuesday, according to the weather service.
On Saturday morning, the storm was about 260 miles east of the Bahamas and on track to hit Florida’s Atlantic coast or veer northward along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts as a Category 4 major hurricane Sunday or Monday. The storm’s maximum sustained winds increased to 150 mph Saturday morning, and it is expected to change little in intensity as it continues to move along the east coast of Florida toward Georgia mid-week, according to the National Weather Service.
Some fluctuations in intensity are likely, but Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next few days, experts said.
For now, a relatively quiet weather pattern is expected in Maryland, with highs largely in the 80s forecast through Labor Day and into next week. Storms are possible in the Baltimore region Monday and again Wednesday.