Isaias weakens to tropical storm in Bahamas, expected to strengthen as it heads toward Florida

Isaias weakened to a tropical storm Saturday as it hit the Bahamas en route toward Florida.

The storm is expected to strengthen as it approaches the Sunshine State, and Florida authorities have warned residents to make preparations for a weather event amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The most important thing we want people to do now is remain vigilant,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

Isaias had maximum sustained winds of near 70 miles per hour around 5 p.m. Saturday, a decline from earlier in the day, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC). It is expected to regain strength as it heads over warm water toward Florida.

The center of the storm is forecast to approach the southeast coast of Florida early Sunday morning and then travel along the state’s east coast throughout the day. It is expected to regain hurricane strength overnight as it nears Florida.

This is a developing story; please check back for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.