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Hurricane Dorian a Category 5 storm as it slams into the Bahamas

Posted at 2:11 PM, Sep 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-01 16:43:38-04

FLORIDA — Hurricane Dorian strengthened into a powerful Category 5 storm as it bore down on the Bahamas Sunday morning with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph. More than 20 million Americans could feel the storm's impact within a few days.

Preparations were underway for the massive storm across the southeastern U.S. seaboard. The hurricane was already churning into parts of the northwestern Bahamas Sunday morning. Storm surges there could raise water levels 20-feet above normal.

Acting DHS chief Kevin McAleenan said Sunday that the storm could remain just off shore of the U.S. mainland, but that it could still cause major problems with high wind speeds, a devastating storm surge and a lot of rain.

Hurricane Dorian fast facts:

  • As of 2 p.m. ET Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said Dorian was a Category 5 storm bearing down on the Bahamas.
  • Forecasts say Dorian may spare the U.S. coast a direct hit, but will move close to Florida's east coast late Monday.
  • Dorian is expected to affect the South Carolina coast Wednesday or Thursday.
  • States of emergency were in effect for all of Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, along with 12 counties in Georgia.
  • Mandatory evacuations were underway in some parts of Florida.