Central Florida is not projected to take a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian, but the area could begin to see residual impact from the catastrophic storm Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service in Melbourne.
The Category 5 hurricane made landfall Sunday at Elbow Cay, Abacos with 185 mph sustained winds and gusts over 220 mph.
Tim Sedlock, a NWS meteorologist, said residents in Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties can expect to see “the worst of it” from the massive storm throughout Tuesday.
“You’re the lucky ones right now. You’re the ones further away from the coast,” he said. “Right now, not everybody stands to get even tropical force winds.”
Heavy squalls could come and there’s a chance of an isolated tornado threat, according to Sedlock.
According to the National Weather Service’s Southern Region Tropical Webpage update at 4 p.m. on Sunday, the areas in Central Florida expected to be impacted the most by Hurricane Dorian can be separated roughly into three regions.
- The area east of Interstate 95 to the Atlantic coast will get the worst weather, with hurricane-force-winds forecast. The area has potential for winds 74-110 mph, the NWS said.
- The area east of Interstate 4 to I-95 will get not as bad weather, but could still receive very strong tropical-storm-force winds. There is potential for winds 58 to 73 mph in this area.
- The area west of Interstate 4 will be the least impacted but still receive some tropical-storm force winds. There is the potential for winds 39 to 57 mph here.
Although Central Florida is not in the direct path of Hurricane Dorian, Orange and Lake county officials continued emergency preparations Sunday for the storm and are ready to shelter evacuees from coastal communities.
Osceola County on Sunday called for an emergency evacuation of the Good Samaritan Society’s Kissimmee Village, the retirement community that had $500 million in damage from flooding after Hurricane Irma two years ago.
National Weather Service forecasts the most rain to occur along Central Florida’s east coast with the potential for moderate flooding.
For most of Central Florida’s interior, the NWS calls for the potential for some localized flooding caused by Hurricane Dorian’s rain.
Roger Simmons contributed to this report.