Hurricane Dorian continues to lurk off the coast of Florida, slamming the Bahamas with powerful winds and storm surges. But Dorian is moving slower than the queue for a princess meet-and-greet, leaving Florida residents and theme park visitors to wonder when, where, and if it will hit Central Florida.
The National Hurricane Center's forecast map continues to chart Dorian moving parallel up the Florida coast, but updates seem to be moving the storm a bit closer to that coast. The Orlando area remains on the edge of the cone of uncertainty, with a hurricane warning now in effect for much of the state's Atlantic coast.
But as of Monday morning, the storm is crawling west at just one mile per hour. Maximum sustained winds have dropped from 185 to 155 mph, dropping the storm to Category 4 status. All anyone can do at this point is to prepare, then wait to see what happens.
As of now, both the Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando resorts remain in normal operation, though both resorts' management teams are monitoring the storm and preparing for a response, if that becomes necessary.
While it's business as usual for now at the theme parks, local cruise lines are responding to Dorian. The Disney Cruise Line is keeping the Disney Dream at sea for an extra day, as Dorian is expected to make Port Canaveral unavailable on Wednesday. DCL has cancelled the Dream's next scheduled sailing, as well. A rideout crew has been on Castaway Cay, which escaped hurricane-force winds, according to the company. Resident cast members have returned to their home following their retreat to storm shelters on the island yesterday.
The Orlando airport remains open, following the airport's decision to reverse its initial call to shut down this morning. But some flights have been cancelled and many visitors are choosing to stay away from the area, as evidenced by lower-than-usual wait times at many park attractions today.
If Dorian does turn north today, residents and visitors could expect heavy rain and strong winds in the Orlando area as the edge of the storm moves through the area tomorrow and Wednesday, with the strength of that rain and wind depending upon how far off the coast the storm's eye tracks. The more that Dorian holds to a west-bound path, the more likely that Orlando will get hurricane-force winds... and park closures.
Update: (5:30pm ET) Walt Disney World and the Orlando airport announce Tuesday closing times.Tweet
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