Dorian now a Category 5 with 160 miles per hour winds nearing Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian strikes Bahamas after strengthening to category 5

Hurricane Dorian strikes Bahamas after strengthening to category 5

But after days of evacuations only 26 tourists are left on Grand Bahama, authorities said on Saturday.

The hurricane was 255 miles east of West Palm Beach, moving west towards Florida at 8 mph.

A look at the wind speeds of each category of a hurricane.

There were indications that the slow-moving Dorian would veer sharply northeastward after passing the Bahamas and track up the U.S. Southeast seaboard.

Following a similar state order in Florida, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency Saturday, saying, "Given the strength and unpredictability of the storm, we must prepare for every possible scenario".

Hurricane Dorian is now a "catastrophic Category 5" storm as it approaches the Bahamas in the Caribbean, according to a National Hurricane Center update today (Sept. 1). It also said Florida's east-central coast may see a brief tornado sometime between Monday afternoon and Monday night.

The government of the Bahamas has discontinued the hurricane warning for New Providence and Eleuthera, and the hurricane watch for Andros island.

- Hurricane Dorian is now officially the strongest hurricane in modern records to hit the northwestern Bahamas, as it moves west through the Atlantic as a catastrophic Category 5 storm. That proximity would bring tropical-storm-force winds to the broad stroke of the area and potentially hurricane-force winds along the coast.

"It's going to be really, really bad for the Bahamas", Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said. The hurricane will move toward Florida's east coast late Monday.

Residents on Abaco posted video on social media showing floodwaters halfway up the sides of single-family homes and the island was littered with twisted metal and splintered wood.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Dorian's top sustained winds have further decreased to 170 miles per hour (275 kph).

If the hurricane remains along the coast, coastal flooding erosion will be likely.

Hurricane Dorian strikes Bahamas after strengthening to category 5
Shoppers purchase water before the arrival of Hurricane Dorian

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 180mph.

"We can not stress the amount of devastation and catastrophic impact that Hurricane Dorian is expected to bring", said Shavonne Moxey-Bonamy, the Bahamas chief meteorologist.

"That could produce life-threatening storm surge and hurricane force winds", DeSantis said.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles.

Still, a major hurricane hovering just off a USA coast could cause life-threatening damage.

But the National Hurricane center says there are variables that could alter that path, and there is about a 50% chance West Palm Beach will get hurricane winds by early Wednesday.

Dorian has 160 miles per hour winds and could deliver a devastating blow to the islands over the next two days.

Dorian first came ashore Sunday at Elbow Cay in Abaco island at 12:40 p.m., then made a second landfall near Marsh Harbour at 2 p.m.

And while the Bahamas has Dorian at its front door, the question of when (or if) the storm will hit the USA mainland remains. Forecasters say ocean levels could rise up to 20 feet (6 meters) in parts of the northern Bahamas with the storm surge topped with huge waves.

This means wind and flood damage resulting in severe destruction to homes and businesses; life-threatening storm surge; and power outages that could last many weeks.

The hurricane wall has officially reached the Abaco Islands and will hit the Grand Bahama Island with devastating winds and heavy rainfall later today. Earlier, Dorian churned over Abaco island with battering winds and surf during Sunday. We will have more information later tonight.

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