(St. Petersburg) Hurricane Isaias was downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday afternoon, but it could pick up in intensity as the citizens of Florida prepare for its passage.
Just before dawn on Sunday, heavy rain hit the east coast of Florida as the tropical storm approached.
The American authorities are monitoring the progress of Isaias towards a state already severely affected by the COVID pandemic – 19. They fear in particular the risk of flooding.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has warned the public not to lower their guard against this natural phenomenon that has previously ravaged islands in the Bahamas archipelago.
He said citizens should expect power outages, reiterating the authorities’ recommendation to have sufficient water, food and medicine in their possession for several days.
Beaches, parks and COVID testing clinics – 08 have been closed.
Shelters are also ready to welcome them, if necessary, but health instructions will have to be observed there to limit the spread of the new coronavirus.
In Palm Beach County, already 100 people were already in these shelters, said emergency services spokesperson Lisa De La Rionda. A voluntary evacuation notice was given to residents of mobile homes and to those whose residences could not withstand the strong winds of Isaias .
“We are not anticipating other evacuations,” said M me De La Rionda who specified that people in shelters must wear a mask and keep a certain distance from others.
The tropical storm winds had diminished during the day on Saturday, but gusts of 77 kilometers per hour were recorded Sunday morning, according to the Miami National Hurricane Center (US National Hurricane Center).
Despite the approach of this tropical storm, NASA maintained the return to Earth of two American astronauts aboard the SpaceX capsule on Sunday afternoon.
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug are preparing for a return to Earth after spending two months aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The capsule will begin its descent towards the Gulf of Mexico, near the town of Pensacola, Florida, which is on the opposite side from where Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to strike.