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Hurricane Isaias lashes the Bahamas as it bears down on Florida

Florida, US: Hurricane Isaias strengthened slightly as it lashed the Bahamas on Saturday, August 1, bearing down on Florida, and was expected to approach the southeast of the state later in the day before traveling up the eastern U.S. seaboard.

In Miami Beach, patrol officers stopped beachgoers from entering the beach as the area braced itself for tropical storm force winds from Hurricane Isaias. Some tourists could be seen enjoying drinks at one of the few establishments that stayed open, but most restaurants were closed for business. Sidewalk dining on the city's famed Ocean Drive was also shut down. Florida's well-honed hurricane responses have been partly upended by its grappling with one of the country's worst outbreaks of the novel coronavirus.
Isaias was carrying top sustained winds of 80 miles per hour (130 km per hour) and was located about 40 miles (60 km) west-southwest of the Bahamas capital Nassau at 1100 ET (1500 GMT) heading northwest, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

It made landfall on Andros Island in the Bahamas and was due to pass over or near other islands in the central and northwest Bahamas on Saturday, bringing a danger of damaging storm surges of up to 5 feet (1.52 m) over normal tide levels, the NHC said.
The storm, a Category 1 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, prompted authorities in parts of Florida to close COVID-19 testing sites and people to stock up on essentials. Isaias is expected to move near the east coast of the Florida peninsula late Saturday through Sunday before hitting the eastern Carolinas by early next week, forecasters said.

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