Extreme flooding in Freeport from Hurricane Dorian

Strong winds from Hurricane Dorian blow the tops of trees and brush while whisking up water from the surface of a canal that leads to the sea in Freeport Grand Bahama Bahamas Sept. 2 2019

But its wind speeds lessened slightly to 120 miles per hour (193 kph) with higher gusts. Hurricane Dorian is one of the strongest recorded storms to ever strike the Atlantic, and is expected to continue a destructive path toward Florida and then onward to the coasts of Georgia and SC. It remained almost stationary 25 miles northeast of Freeport, Bahamas and 105 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida - the same position it was in at 9 a.m. Monday.

Hurricane Dorian grew in size and picked up speed on Tuesday, and was forecast to come "dangerously close" to Florida's coast after pounding Grand Bahama Island for about a day, killing at least five people.

Now a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, Dorian was expected to remain in that category until Saturday, when it should drop to a Category 1 with wind speeds of about 85 miles per hour.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Florida, Georgia and SC were ordered to evacuate before the storm rolls up the Eastern Seaboard, bringing the possibility of life-threatening storm-surge flooding even if the storm's heart stays offshore, as forecast.

Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane over the next few days. It has barely budged from that position since Monday afternoon. Van Dam also warned that though the storm has gotten slightly weaker, going down to a Category 3, it will also get larger as tropical force winds expand from the center. Parts of those states were under mandatory evacuation.

Dorian is expected to move closer to the Florida east coast late today through Wednesday evening.

Lord said storm surge is expected along the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. Lake Okeechobee was under a tropical storm watch.

Universal Orlando Resort said in an update Monday night that its two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, would open on schedule Tuesday.

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