Gainesville residents are preparing for a hurricane that they’re not sure is even coming toward them.
As of Thursday, Hurricane Dorian is approximately 1,100 miles from Gainesville with sustained winds of 105 mph which are expected to increase, according to the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.
As of 11:00 pm. Thursday, Dorian is a Category 2 and has shifted South. The storm is expected to make landfall as a Category 4 with sustained winds of 139 mph, only 17 mph shy of a Category 5.
In a tweet shared Thursday, Mayor Lauren Poe announced he signed a declaration of emergency for the City of Gainesville until Sept. 4. The Alachua County 311 Rumor Control Line has also been activated.
So far, UF and Alachua County Public Schools have not announced any cancellation of classes. Other universities, however, such as the University of Central Florida, the University of North Florida and Florida International University have canceled classes.
Although it is unclear where Dorian will land, Gov. Ron DeSantis urged residents to stock up on necessities for at least seven days in an announcement at the National Hurricane Center on Thursday.
“You should have seven days worth of food and medicine and water as part of the plan,” DeSantis said.
Preparation for Dorian’s arrival has led to long lines in Gainesville stores.
As of 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, the Walmart located at 2900 S.W. 42nd St. already sold out of bottled water, said employee Kyara Worthy.
“There is no water on the shelves,” Worthy said. “There is no water and people are freaking out.”
The National Hurricane Center will announce their next update on Hurricane Dorian at 5:00 a.m. AST.
Jason Myers contributed to this report.
Arian Britto fills containers with gasoline at BJ's Wholesale Club in preparation for Hurricane Dorian, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Hialeah, Fla. Hurricane Dorian is heading towards Florida for a possible direct hit on the state over Labor Day. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)