By the time that Hurricane Dorian struck the northern Bahamas on Sunday, the storm was upgraded to a Category 5 storm. 185 mph winds were registered on the island, causing massive damage to homes and infrastructure.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the hurricane will be approaching Florida’s east coast on Monday or Tuesday.
The eye of catastrophic Hurricane #Dorian is crawling over the Abacos Islands in the Bahamas. Dorian's fury now aiming toward Grand Bahama. The hurricane will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast late Monday through Tuesday night, the NWS says. https://t.co/YVEW6LDjzs pic.twitter.com/S5x3frHrPl
— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) September 1, 2019
Dorian is said to be the second-strongest Atlantic hurricane since 1950. Some Florida residents were hoping that the storm would veer off back towards the empty regions of the Atlantic Ocean after hitting the Bahamas, but experts say that Floridians should brace for a heavy impact even if Dorian does not connect with a direct hit.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami recorded a maximum wind gust of 185 mph.
Hurricane Dorian struck the northern Bahamas on Sunday as a catastrophic Category 5 storm, its record 185 mph winds ripping off roofs and tearing down power lines as hundreds hunkered in schools, churches and other shelters. This footage shows flooded streets and heavy rain in Green Turtle Cay, one of the barrier islands off of the Abaco Islands. https://6abc.cm/2Zx1xVa
Posted by 6abc Action News on Sunday, September 1, 2019
As the storm passes through the Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center has warned that there is a potential for massive storm surges, ranging from 10 to 15 feet and are advising everyone who could not evacuate to stay indoors, and if possible, far from the coast. The hurricane center also said that the Bahamas could get up to 10 to 25 inches of rain in addition to the potential storm surges.
To make matters worse, Dorian is a slow moving storm, allowing it to cause more havoc and destruction in each area that it passes through.
EYE OF THE MONSTER
The most dangerous winds in a hurricane are always wrapped around the eye. That is now blasting the Northern Islands of The Bahamas with gusts over 200mph! That is basically the equivalent of an EF 5 Tornado, complete obliteration.#dorian #hurricane pic.twitter.com/t8YlxSzGYj
— Adam Joseph (@6abcadamjoseph) September 1, 2019
A state of emergency has been issued for many regions, with mandatory evacuations in effect.
To help with the evacuation efforts, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered tolls be suspended on all of the major highways in the state
Many of the areas in the path of hurricane Dorian were devastated by Hurricane Maria two years ago, and have still not recovered from the brutal storm. Puerto Rico, in particular, is still without power in many areas, and in others, the power grid is extremely vulnerable and plagued with regular outages.
The NHC said that there is a risk of a dangerous storm surge along the Florida coast. The agency warned residents of the area to have a hurricane plan in place and prepare for the worst. For nearly 80 miles from the center, tropical storm force winds were being recorded.
Hurricane Irma was another devastating Atlantic storm in recent memory, Dorian has already surpassed the strength of Irma, with record-setting speeds being registered as it creeps up the Atlantic coast.
This storm is truly historic. Only one storm since 1950 has had stronger winds than Dorian, and that is Hurricane Allen, which had a record-setting wind speed of up to 190 mph while crossing the Atlantic. Only two other hurricanes since 1950 have had winds that match the speeds of Dorian, which is Hurrican Gilbert of 1988 and Hurricane Wilma of 2005, each of which had maximum winds of 185 mph. Thus far, Dorian’s maximum speed has been around 185 mph.
There is really no telling where Dorian will be headed next. There is a very good chance that it will not make complete landfall in the United States, but it still poses a series threat to the entire east coast.