Hurricane Dorian grows to Category 5 storm, makes landfall in Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian Slows Slightly Still Extremely Powerful

Hurricane Dorian continues its track with models showing potential impact to the Carolinas [Free read]

The National Hurricane Center Sunday morning issued a hurricane watch for Florida's East Coast from Deerfield Beach north to the Volusia and Brevard county line. The storm is predicted to ride along the USA east coast along Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

The NHC said Dorian had become "the strongest hurricane in modern records for the northwestern Bahamas".

The National Hurricane Center issued tropical storm watches Saturday for parts of coastal Florida as the Category 4 hurricane headed toward the United States, threatening the coastal Southeast, from Florida to North Carolina, next week.

Hurricane Dorian is now moving west across the Caribbean at about 8 miles per hour (13 km/h), a relatively slow speed that is expected to dump massive amounts of rain on the Abaco Islands.

"Some fluctuations in intensity are expected, but Dorian is expected to remain a powerful storm", the 8 a.m. Sunday advisory states.

Hurricane Dorian is confirmed to have killed at least one person in the Abacos Islands, Bahamas officials said Monday as they announced the start of rescue operations in the storm-ravaged zone.

"The executive order enables all state agencies to coordinate resources and sets into effect the State Emergency Operations Plan . mobilizing assets and resources to be staged along the coast ahead of any potential impact from Hurricane Dorian", according to the S.C. Emergency Management Division.

The National Hurricane Center characterized the situation as "life-threatening" in a midnight Sunday statement. On Friday (Aug. 30), center officials moved a massive 400-foot Mobile Launcher tower into the shelter of the center's 52-story Vehicle Assembly Building to protect it from damage. They've even captured videos of the storm from the International Space Station.

The Category 5 storm has also grown in size, with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 45 miles (75 kilometers) from its center, located about 20 miles (30 kilometers) east-northeast of Great Abaco Island.

The only recorded storm that was more powerful was Hurricane Allen in 1980, with 190 miles per hour (305 kph) winds.

"That's going to be very hard as the storm starts to move northward, mostly like, up the coast of Florida and toward Georgia and SC", he said.

Dorian isn't expected to make landfall in Florida, though the eye will possibly come within 50 to 60 miles, enough to cause wind and water damage, Cioffi said. "Lives can not be replaced", he told a news conference on Saturday, adding that 73,000 people and 21,000 homes were at risk to storm surges, which are predicted to reach up to 20 feet (6.1 meters).

At almost Category 5 strength, Dorian is an upper-tier hurricane.

The rainfall projections have gone down for Florida and up for the Carolinas as of Sunday morning.

A risky Hurricane Dorian is closing in on the northern Bahamas, threatening to batter the normally idyllic islands with fierce winds, pounding waves and torrential rain.

In the northern stretches of the archipelago, hotels closed, residents boarded up homes and officials hired boats to move people to bigger islands.

A convoy from Xylem Tree Experts of Virgina, a company specialized in tree maintenance, travels in Palm Coast, Florida, as Hurricane Dorian approaches.

In two to four days, Dorian is expected to turn northward and then northeastward near the Carolinas.

"It's going to be really, really bad for the Bahamas", Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said.

Meanwhile, North Carolina authorities warned residents Dorian was heading their way.

Conditions are expected to grow only worse as Dorian stalls over the Bahamas, forecasters say.

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