Storm Isaias churns close to Florida’s east coast


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Isaias was not expected to affect the return home on Sunday of two NASA astronauts who rode to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon.

They were heading for a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico, off Florida’s northwest coast, capping a two-month voyage in space that marked NASA’s first crewed mission from home soil in nine years.

Florida is used to being hit by hurricanes, but its well-honed storm responses have been partly upended by its grappling with one of the country’s worst coronavirus outbreaks.

The state has recorded more than 480,000 cases, with tens of thousands recorded in the last week alone, according to a Reuters tally.

Governor Ron DeSantis said on Saturday the state emergency management division was supplying shelters with enough personal protective equipment for 10,000 people.

The storm lashed parts of the Bahamas with high winds and heavy rainfall en route to the United States. It caused at least two deaths in the Dominican Republic and knocked out power for thousands of homes and businesses in Puerto Rico, according to media reports. (Reporting by Frances Kerry and Zachary Fagenson Writing by Frances Kerry Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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