Follow live as 'monster' hurricane Dorian pounds on Bahamas, moves towards Florida

NOAA-20’s VIIRS instrument provides this image in its Day Night band of Hurricane Dorian at 2:30 am EDT on Sep. 01 2019

Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamian islands of Great Abaco and Grand Bahama early on Monday, peeling off roofs, toppling cars and snapping power lines as rising floodwater threatened to engulf houses.

Some Facebook groups began appearing with users posting regular updates about the storm and information regarding the whereabouts and safety of local residents.

Thus, Dorian is going to cause lots of problems for those along the entire East Coast but thankfully it does not look to be anything like what those on the Bahamas Islands have had to deal with these past 24-36 hours.

But the NHC said it would remain a powerful hurricane for the next couple of days.

The storm was crawling slowly west at 1 mph, with its center 30 miles east-northeast of Freeport, Grand Bahama Island and 110 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida.

On Sunday, Dorian's maximum sustained winds reached 297 km/h (185 mph), with gusts up to 354 km/h (220 mph), tying the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane to ever make landfall.

As of late Monday morning, Hurricane Dorian is expected to approach the Southeastern U.S. late Tuesday into early Wednesday before winding its way up the eastern seaboard.

Hurricane Dorian unleashed massive flooding across the Bahamas on Monday, pummeling the islands with so much wind and water that authorities urged people to find floatation devices and grab hammers to break out of their attics if necessary.

Inundation, the most severe of all hurricane effects to coastal areas, is forecast for 9 percent of Georgia and North Carolina beaches.

This story was reported from Cincinnati.

But on Monday, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said that reports from Abaco suggested the devastation was "unprecedented".

"You can not tell the difference as to the beginning of the street versus where the ocean begins", Hubert Minnis, the prime minister of the Bahamas, said. "I ask for your prayers for those in affected areas and for our first responders".

"The hurricane will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast late Monday through Tuesday night", the NHC said.

Disney noted that Castaway Cay is located 45 miles south of the most significant portion of the storm. He said the company's office in Abaco island was flattened.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp ordered evacuations in all or parts of six coastal counties also effective at noon on Monday.

"We're expecting (Dorian) doesn't make landfall in the USA, but we still could see some hurricane-force winds right along the immediate coast".

Transportation officials reversed all lanes of Interstate 26 from Charleston to head inland earlier than planned after noticing traffic jams from evacuees and vacationers heading home on Labor Day, Gov. Henry McMaster said.

Parts of Duval County, home to Jacksonville, one of Florida's two biggest cities, were under a mandatory evacuation.

The Bahamas archipelago is no stranger to hurricanes. A storm surge watch was extended northward to South Santee River in SC.

"We're kind of in a holding pattern".

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for North of Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet and a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for North of Golden Beach to Deerfield Beach and Lake Okeechobee. It is unclear how many residents ignored evacuation orders and pleas from officials to leave low-lying areas.

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