NATIONWIDE — While there is still uncertainty about what Dorian will mean for Florida, islands in the Caribbean are bracing for impact.
- Puerto Ricans are emptying store shelves ahead of Dorian
- Many still remember the devastation of Hurricane Maria
- Get Central Florida's Tropical Storm Dorian forecast
- Get Tampa area's Tropical Storm Dorian forecast
- TRACKING THE TROPICS: Get tropical updates, forecast models, satellite loops, and more
In Puerto Rico, residents are lining up to buy supplies at stores, and some shelves are already empty.
Public schools will close Tuesday afternoon in Puerto Rico as they prepare for Dorian.
"When a storm comes we are much worried about what is going to become after," Kamil Matos said.
Puerto Rico's governor has declared a state of emergency and is trying to reassure residents, as many are still recovering from Hurricane Maria two years ago.
"The whole island has been traumatized. So you have to take that into consideration," Jesus Vega said.
Thousands were killed and power was knocked out for nearly the entire territory due to Maria.
Freddie Agraig and Marnie Ferrer came to Orlando after going through Hurricane Maria. They say they remember the storm like it was yesterday.
“It had an apocalyptic feeling to it — the going out and seeing everything destroyed,” Agraig said.
They have been in contact with friends and family who still live on the island, who said stores were already running out of water, and people are worried about flooding and power outages.
Agraig and Ferrer say their loved ones are prepared with water and other supplies, and they’re keeping a close eye on storm updates.
“The Puerto Rican people are getting ready," Agraig said. "The Puerto Rican people are very resilient, and they are getting ready and doing what they know to do now after so many seasons and hurricanes.”
In Barbados, anxiety over Dorian had drivers lined up bumper to bumper to fill up on gas.
Florida-based cruise ships were already making preparations.
"Our Fleet Operations Center in Miami is actively monitoring Tropical Storm Dorian," Carnival Cruise Line said in a released statement. "The safety of our guests and crew is our number one priority and our ships will remain a safe distance from the storm at all times. In the event any changes to our itineraries are necessary, we will update our guests accordingly," it said.
And in South Florida, FEMA has activated two Miami-based federal task forces, one headed to Puerto Rico and another to St. Croix.
"We prepare, we train year round and our guys are elite," said Assistant Chief Scott Dean from Miami Fire Rescue. "They're the best of the best. The 28 teams around the country are the elite."
Instead of canceling his plans, Florida state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando tweeted that he and his husband moved up their flight to Puerto Rico for a wedding celebration on Sunday.
We moved up our flight. Jerick and I are heading to Puerto Rico TONIGHT to avoid Tropical Storm Dorian. WEDDING CELEBRATION THIS SUNDAY IN VIEJO SAN JUAN AS SCHEDULED! 🥂👬🇵🇷🏳️🌈#CarlosyJerick— Rep. Carlos G Smith (@CarlosGSmith) August 27, 2019
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